10 Dec 2018, 13:58
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany’s coal exit much more difficult than nuclear exit – NRW state minister

Westfälische Nachrichten

The end of coal-fired power production in Germany will pose great challenges for the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), state economy minister Andreas Pinkwart said in an interview with the Westfälische Nachrichten. NRW might become the first region in Germany where lignite (brown coal) plants and mines will be shut down but “huge efforts will have to be made over 20 or 30 years to avoid severe economic disruption,” he said. The state’s economy could be more resilient to achieve a transformation successfully than its counterparts in eastern Germany since it hosts more innovative companies and growing businesses than rural Lusatia in the east, but coal is so deeply rooted in NRW that waving goodbye to it will be no simple task. “The challenge we’re facing is much bigger than with the end of nuclear power,” Pinkwart said. The capacity that will be taken offline is much bigger and much more jobs depend on the technology, which is why any agreement found in Germany’s coal exit commission had to be “stable” and tested for ramifications on supply security, he argued.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany’s three lignite mining regions for more information.

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