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06 Dec 2019, 15:02
Benjamin Wehrmann

Merkel announces meeting with states to get renewables expansion back on track

Clean Energy Wire

The German government will meet with state representatives in January to discuss how to expand renewable energy installations at a pace that will raise the share of renewables in power consumption to 65 percent by 2030, and prepare a "special conference" on the matter between state premiers and the federal government. Following a first meeting with the government heads of Germany's 16 states, chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists the conference would “set an energy expansion path to generate reliability in this regard" by addressing challenges in licensing, planning procedures and supply security. Merkel said the legislative process for the forthcoming coal exit law had now entered "the hot stage" and that a plan for renewables would be the corresponding "building block” for substituting coal-fired power production. Merkel added that coordination had also begun on how to implement the roll-out of charging stations for e-cars across the country.

The expansion of renewable energy sources is needed to replace both coal and nuclear power capacity that will be lost due to the country's nuclear exit in 2022 and its planned coal exit in 2038. Especially the expansion of onshore wind power, which is supposed to become the country's primary power source of the future, has been faltering in 2019, falling to the lowest level in nearly 20 years. The federal states' energy ministers criticised the government's climate package earlier this week and called for a "massive" expansion of renewable energy sources in order to maintain competitiveness and reach the country's climate targets.

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