Germany can reach 2020 climate target with three year delay – study
Germany can reach its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target with a delay of three years by taking 9 gigawatts (GW) of lignite-fired power plant capacity offline by 2023 without endangering power supply security, according to a study by Aurora Energy Research, commissioned by gas industry lobby association Zukunft Erdgas. By the time Germany shuts down its last nuclear power plant, the country’s total CO₂ emissions can be reduced by about 40 percent, compared to 1990, if lignite power plants are taken offline, while increasing less CO₂-intensive hard coal and gas-fired generation. This would lead to additional costs of 0.4 cent per kilowatt hour at most, compared to a business-as-usual scenario. “The existing fleet of power plants in Germany must be used better,” said Timm Kehler, managing director at Zukunft Erdgas, at a press conference in Berlin. At the same time, the study shows that “we do not need to worry about supply security, despite the nuclear exit happening at the same time,” said Kehler. According to Aurora Energy Research’s Hanns Koenig, shutting down up to 9 GW of lignite capacity is possible using the existing gas plant fleet. “For the long-term coal exit, we would then need new thermal generation capacities,” he said.
Find a press release on the study in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The role of gas in Germany's energy transition and the article Commission watch – Managing Germany’s coal phase-out.