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03 Jul 2019, 14:09
Julian Wettengel

Shutdown of hard coal plants in Germany initially via tenders – economy minister

Tagesspiegel Background

German economy minister Peter Altmaier said the government plans to agree on a “Hard Coal Exit Law” in autumn, and the decision on which plants are shut down first will be taken via tenders, reports Nora Marie Zaremba in Tagesspiegel Background. “We concretely plan to pass the draft of a hard coal phase-out law in the cabinet in autumn and to carry out the parliamentary procedure by the end of 2019,” said Altmaier. Phasing out lignite will likely be more difficult than hard coal, writes Zaremba, and the government was currently in talks with mine operators. “The talks with RWE are advanced and very constructive,” said the minister.

The German coal exit commission recommended to phase out the fossil fuel by 2038 at the very latest. It also proposed to shut down several gigawatts of lignite and hard coal capacity by 2022. Chancellor Angela Merkel's government coalition has to decide how to implement the non-binding commission proposal, and draft necessary legislation. Many details have yet to be worked out and ultimately decided by parliamentarians in a process that could last well into 2020. Coal companies such as RWE are demanding compensation payments for capacity which they have to take offline before the end of plant lifetimes.

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