15 Feb 2019, 12:12
Julian Wettengel

South German power supply secure despite coal exit, imports set to rise - study

Environment and energy ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg

The coal commission’s phase-out proposal would not endanger power supply in southern Germany, but more imports from northern Germany and neighbouring countries, and a capacity reserve of two gigawatts will be needed, according to a study on supply security commissioned by the environment and energy ministry of the state Baden-Wuerttemberg. “We can assume there won’t be acute capacity shortages by 2025 even with an accelerated coal exit as proposed by the commission,” said state environment and energy minister Franz Untersteller in a press release. With an increasing reliance on imports, expanding the transmission grid must remain a priority, the ministry said. The study also shows that power capacity gaps can be counteracted by increasingly expanding renewable energy sources, said Untersteller.

Over two thirds of Germany’s onshore wind capacity is installed in the northern German regions. Meanwhile, large metropolitan areas and power-hungry industry are largely located in the south and west of the country, straining the country’s transmission grid. With the nuclear phase-out and an exit from coal-fired power generation as proposed by the coal commission, supply security has become a big concern.

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