10 Dec 2021, 14:05
Benjamin Wehrmann

Structural change in western German coal region could create up to 27,000 new jobs – report

Clean Energy Wire

Investments in the former coal mining region in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) could create up to 27,000 new jobs by 2038, private industry-sponsored economic research institute IW Köln has found in a report. The former government decided in 2020 to provide almost 15 billion euros in the coming years to the region, which is going to lose about 14,400 jobs due to coal mine and power plant closures, according to the researchers. Jobs will be created in NRW but also elsewhere in the country if the envisaged structural economic change succeeds, the IW found. Priority should be given to investments in industry, digitalisation and ecologic transformation, the researchers said, as these may unlock the greatest value for Germany as a whole. “Overall, the Rhenish coal mining region (in NRW) is well prepared for mastering the structural change,” the report’s author Hanno Kempermann said.

The German coal phase-out, initially scheduled to end in 2038, should “ideally” be completed by 2030, according to the new government’s coalition treaty. Preserving economic stability in coal regions has been a key aim from the onset of the country’s plan to end coal use and the outgoing government overall has earmarked about 40 billion euros in support to coal regions that will be disbursed by the end of the next decade.

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