News Digest Item
25 Jun 2018

RWE head Schmitz says German coal exit by 2030 is impossible

Rheinische Post

Germany will not be able to phase out coal-fired power production by 2030, said Rolf Martin Schmitz, head of RWE, the country’s biggest power producer and Europe’s biggest private emitter of CO2. In an interview with the Rheinische Post on the eve of the first meeting of Germany’s coal exit commission, Schmitz said, “Political gestures don’t produce electricity.” He argued that the speed of Germany’s power grid expansion and the growing share of renewables will determine when the last coal plant is taken offline. Existing coal plants should be considered a “bridge technology” and if policymakers wanted to “prematurely” end the use of coal, “they will have to put a price tag on that, which says how many jobs will be lost, by how much the power price will rise, and that companies might leave the country because supply security becomes more difficult.”

Read the interview in German here.

For background, see the factsheet Germany’s coal exit commission and the article Germany starts coal exit talks in bid to improve patchy climate record.

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