16 Apr 2019, 14:16
Julian Wettengel

Green Party calls for shutting down 7 GW of coal by 2022

Clean Energy Wire

The opposition Green Party has called on Germany’s government to rapidly implement the recommendations of the country’s coal exit commission, publishing a ten-point-plan on how to proceed, including a timetable for shutting down the first coal-fired power plants. The grand coalition “must not make the historic mistake of delaying and watering down the compromise” hammered out by the multi-stakeholder coal commission, writes Green Party co-head Annalena Baerbock in the introduction to the plan. The 40 billion euros recommended by the commission to support coal regions dealing with the transition “have to be linked to a concrete coal shutdown timetable,” writes Baerbock. The plan proposes shutting down two lignite power plants (3 gigawatt capacity) and several hard coal facilities (4 gigawatt capacity) – all in western Germany – by 2022, without paying compensation to the operators. Other points include a ban on new or expanded coal mines, enshrining measures to support coal regions into law, and reforming the power market design so that it takes into account the coal exit decision.

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has also published an assessment of the commission’s recommendations, saying it represents “a good entry to the exit from coal” in Germany. The agency concluded the proposal is sufficient to reach the energy sector’s 2030 emissions reduction target, if renewables reach the target 65 percent share of power consumption that same year.

Germany has officially set in motion a gradual withdrawal from coal, joining other major economies in a global farewell to the climate-damaging fossil fuel. The coal commission recommended shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 at the latest. It is now up to the government to move on the proposal and turn it into legislation. Many details, such as concrete shut-down plan, have yet to be worked out and will ultimately be decided by the German parliament in a process that could last well into 2020.

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