25 Nov 2020, 13:46
Charlotte Nijhuis

Govt plans two major research centres to support German coal regions in transition

Clean Energy Wire

Two new large-scale research centres will be established in the German state of Saxony in order to help lead the coal mining regions deal with the transition away from the fossil fuel, the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announced. The BMBF and the state of Saxony launched a competition for the content and structure of the centres, which are expected to open in 2023. Federal research minister Anja Karliczek explained: "It is important to me that we actively shape structural change in Germany's coal regions and create the basis for new value chains and high-quality jobs locally. Education, research and innovation will help to ensure that Lusatia and the Central German coal-mining area are well equipped for the post-lignite era and remain attractive, liveable regions.”

The research centres alone are expected to create up to 3,000 jobs in the regions, according to the ministry. The centres will also create an attractive environment for start-ups and the establishment of companies, which will bring new prospects for the people in the coal regions. The BMBF and the state of Saxony will provide the regions with up to 170 million euros per centre in the long term. Saxony's state premier Michael Kretschmer emphasises: “This will benefit the people in the regions themselves, but also the whole of Saxony and Germany as a science location.”

Germany’s coal exit law, which was adopted in July 2020, sets out to end coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest. In August of this year, the funding became available to help coal mining states with the phase-out. The German government has made up to 40 billion euro available to support a just transition away from coal over the next years.

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