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09 Mar 2022, 13:32
Sören Amelang

Russian energy import ban is possible if Germany uses more coal – PIK director

General-Anzeiger

Europe could manage to stop Russian energy imports by using more coal for power production in the short term, said the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Ottmar Edenhofer. "Yes, we could cope with enforcing this import ban," Edenhofer told newspaper General-Anzeiger. "In the short term, we will certainly have to ramp up LNG capacities, i.e. capacities for liquid gas. In the electricity sector, we will have to rely more on coal instead of gas in the short term, and in industry we will have to increase energy efficiency as much as possible," Edenhofer said. "In the combination of all these measures, we can succeed in maintaining security of supply."

Edenhofer said the gas supply of private households would be prioritised during the winter in case of an import ban. "Industry consumers would have to stand back." He said Europe's emission limits will automatically translate into a coal exit in 2030. "If that is not possible for reasons of supply security, then in the worst case it will be a little later. That's not a nice development, but you don't have to slavishly follow phase-out dates as long as the emissions cap is met."

Earlier this week, Chancellor Olaf Scholz firmly rejected the idea to cancel energy trading with Russia entirely, arguing that imports are still “essential” for supply security in both Germany and Europe.

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