25 Mar 2015, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn

In the media: Study - Germany must exit brown coal to achieve climate goals

Institute for Applied Ecology / Friends of the Earth Germany

Exit from lignite possible by 2030

Germany’s national and regional climate goals imply that lignite mining will have to stop much earlier than currently planned, according to a new study from the Institute for Applied Ecology commissioned by Friends of the Earth Germany, which was widely picked up by the media. Germany aims to cut CO2 emissions by 80 to 95 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. “The climate goals are only achievable if North-Rhine Westphalia exits brown coal as quickly as possible,” explained study author Dierk Bauknecht. In the west German regional state alone, approved lignite deposits for open cast mining currently amount to almost 3 billion tonnes. “Of this, between 1.4 and 2.5 billion tonnes will have to remain in the ground, depending on the scenario. If not, all climate goals will be missed,” explained Dirk Jansen from Friends of the Earth. “An exit from brown coal by 2030 is feasible from an energy economics point of view.”

See the Friends of the Earth press release in German here.

See the study from the Institute of Applied Ecology in German here.



“Czechs want Vattenfall’s brown coal”

Czech utility EPH wants to buy Vattenfall’s lignite operations in Germany, but only under the condition of definite political announcements about the future of the technology in the country, EPH head Daniel Kretinsky told the Handelsblatt. “We will make an offer as soon as the sale process is initiated,” Kretinsky said. “We have a lot of interest, but it is not unconditional. Above all, we want to know what kind of mission an involvement implies.” The price for the Vattenfall assets depended on how much lignite the new owner will still be allowed to mine, he added.

See the article in German here.


Die Welt

Lignite miners protest against Gabriel’s plans for CO2 levy

Unions have announced unscheduled employees' meetings in three German mining areas to protest against economics and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel's plans for a CO2 levy that could make many lignite-powered plants unprofitable, according to a report in Die Welt. Unions fear thousands of jobs will be lost if the plans become reality.

See the article in German here.

See a CLEW article about Gabriel’s plans here.


Government / BMWi

“More transparency in grid expansion”

Angela Merkel’s cabinet has decided on a new bill to reform power grid planning in Germany. The draft law, which still has to pass parliament, will change planning procedures for the national grid expansion and facilitate underground cabling. Maximum voltage underground cabling will be tested on four new pilot routes, according to a government statement. Putting new power lines under ground has been a common demand from citizens who do not want new overland cables passing close to their homes. Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement that the new rules were designed to increase transparency and acceptance of grid planning.

See the statement in German here.  

See CLEW's Dossier on the grid extension here

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee