Search

Search our website for in-depth analysis (Dossiers), background info (Factsheets) or the latest News, interviewees (Experts) or CLEW Events. Please use AND/OR to find more terms in one document, NOT to exclude terms, quotation marks “…” to find precise terms or use the filters below. Under “Show today’s news” you will find the very latest on the energy transition.

  • 16 May 2017 |

    Battered utilities take on start-ups in innovation race

    Utilities and the energy transition 16 May 2017 As more and more countries around the globe embark on the transition to a low-carbon economy, a lot of lessons can be learned from the fate of Germany’s embattled power companies. Shaken to the core by the ...
  • Green pioneer Germany struggles to make climate protection a reality

    The energy transition and climate change 16 Dec 2016 As the home country of the Energiewende, Germany is considered a pioneer in the fight against man-made climate change. But despite a spectacular rise in power generation from renewables, the country’s ...
  • 04 Aug 2017 |

    Germany's Energiewende: The Easy Guide

    Find your way around the energy transition 04 Aug 2017 (All day) Germany is bidding farewell to nuclear energy, expanding renewable energy sources and working to make its economy virtually climate-neutral by mid-century. Researching and understanding the ...
  • 30 Sep 2016 |

    Bioenergy- the troubled pillar of the Energiewende

    Biogas in Germany's energy transition 30 Sep 2016 Following the introduction of feed-in tariffs for renewables in 2000, bioenergy plants sprang up like daisies across the country, providing a climate friendly source for power that’s independent of ...
  • News
  • RWE to dig ditch around Hambach Forest to keep protesters out

    Energy company RWE plans to dig a ditch around the embattled Hambach Forest to prevent anti-coal protesters from entering the area, the Süddeutsche Zeitung writes. An RWE spokesperson said work on the ditch had already begun but added that it was not ...
  • EnBW plans to ditch conventional power plants by 2025

    Germany’s fourth largest utility EnBW plans to pull out of fossil power generation by 2025, according to an internal strategy paper, reports Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. Conventional power generation does not feature in the company’s medium-term plan ...
  • “Porsche may ditch diesel engines – CEO”

    Porsche may give up diesel engines by the end of the decade, Reuters reports. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said “we have not made a decision on it,” adding the company was “of course” looking into this issue following the emissions cheating scandal that ...
  • 06 Nov 2017 |

    COP23- Day 1: More German money for adaptation fund

    06 Nov 2017 (All day) Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said vulnerable countries must be put centre-stage and kicked off the conference with a pledge to raise Germany's contribution to the climate change adaptation fund by 50 million euros. ...
  • 30 Sep 2014

    Germany's energy transition in the media on 30 September

    30 Sep 2014 (All day) Handelsblatt / Die Welt Underground power lines costly, complicated alternative to pylons   Laying underground power lines underground in order to avoid pylons is difficult, costly and requires extensive groundwork, write Juergen ...
  • Coal-fired power generation and climate protection until 2030 – position paper

    Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has published the English version of its position paper Coal-fired power generation and climate protection until 2030, a discussion contribution for achieving climate targets in Germany, first published in ...
  • "Climate activists take aim at Europe’s largest coal industry"

    Amid a growing anti-coal movement, thousands of masked protesters in hooded white jumpsuits have blocked Germany’s coal infrastructure, Paul Hockenos reports for The Nation. Find the article in English here. Get background on the question when will ...
  • “The battle for villages and forests in Germany's coal country”

    In an article with many photographs, Elian Hadj-Hamdi for Deutsche Welle takes a look at the impact of coal mining on people and nature in coal mining regions in western Germany. Read the article in English here. For background, read the CLEW factsheet ...
  • Can Germany break its lignite habit?

    Der Spiegel has published a long article by Benedikt Becker, Frank Dohmen, Gerald Traufetter, and Steffen Winter on Germany’s difficulties in phasing out power production from lignite. The article is the translated version of a German original, which was ...
  • Future of Germany’s coal sector hangs with election

    Energy policy analyst and Green Party member Arne Jungjohann presents different scenarios for a coal phase-out in Germany, depending on the result of the general election and government coalition constellation in an article on chinadialogue. Read the ...
  • “Fox against machine”

    The coming weeks will see intensified opposition and protest against lignite mining in the western German Rhenish mining district, writes Christoph Parth in a long feature for Zeit Online. A number of protest events are scheduled, and the police also ...
  • “Germany’s transition from coal to renewable energy offers lessons for the rest of the world”

    Germany’s energy transition, or Energiewende, has transformed Germany into a global poster child for green energy, writes Emma Bryce in an article for online environmental magazine Ensia. Germany’s handling of the exit from coal-fired power generation ...
  • Coal exit already happening step-by-step – Leag head

    Germany’s coal exit is “already happening, step-by-step”, but the country still needs coal power plants, Helmar Rendez, head of Lusatian energy company Leag, told Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview. “Anyone calling for the immediate shutdown of ...
  • Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out

    Energy transition pioneer Germany is about to launch a highly anticipated task force on phasing out coal power, the most prominent blemish on the country’s climate record. The government will likely nominate the coal exit commission next Tuesday. There ...
  • “Divestment will not block German lignite”

    Energy expert Jeffrey Michel provides an overview of lignite use in Germany in an article for energy post. Among other things, he suggests divestment strategies could have minimal or negative effects on German lignite policy, jobs, structural change and ...
  • Scepticism over adequacy of funds for post-coal clean-up raises concern

    Germany's Council of State Governments (Bundesrat) has expressed fears that lignite mine operators have not set aside enough money to cover the future costs of decommissioning, demolishing, and renaturing mined land, spurring more widespread concern, ...
  • “Germany’s coal task force can change things for Europe” – opinion

    The launch of the coal-exit commission has raised expectations that Germany’s – and by extension, Europe’s – commitment to a low-carbon future could shift from rhetoric to reality, Nick Butler writes in an opinion piece for the Financial Times. However, ...
  • Germany needs a well-ordered coal exit – Vattenfall

    For a successful energy transition, Germany needs a well-ordered coal exit and accelerated wind power expansion, Vattenfall’s Senior Executive Vice President Tuomo Hatakka told the Funke Mediengruppe. The next federal government must organise the phase ...
  • Coal phase-out in heart of coal county “a decided thing”

    A coal exit in Cottbus, the largest city of one of Germany’s most important coal producing regions, is inevitable, writes Nick Reimer in Zeit Online. The municipal utility’s lignite power plant will be taken off the grid and replaced by a new gas-fired ...
  • Germany starts coal exit talks in bid to improve patchy climate record

    06 Jun 2018 (All day) Germany has launched official talks on phasing out coal in power generation. The aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions that have remained stubbornly high despite the country’s ongoing shift to renewable power. The government on ...
  • NRW state premier says coal exit by 2030 is impossible

    An end to coal-fired power generation in Germany by 2030 is impossible, according to Armin Laschet, the state premier of coal mining state North Rhine-Westphalia, and a member of Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU). Wind and solar power will not be able ...
  • Court rules in favour of coal-fired power plant construction

    A court in Lower Saxony ruled against objections by environmental organisations and decided that chemical company Dow may build a coal-fired power plant in the northern German state, reports Gernot Knödler in the tageszeitung (taz). The plaintiffs had ...
  • Germans want coal exit law, population in affected mining regions divided – survey

    Seventy-five percent of Germans say the country’s new government should introduce a law for a gradual coal exit without delay, according to an in-depth online survey and analysis by the University St. Gallen, commissioned by Greenpeace. But only 43 ...
  • Environmental impact of lignite mining may persist for 300 years

    The effects of lignite mining on the water supply of the Rhenish area in western Germany will be felt for another 300 years, according to an expert report by German utility RWE, writes public broadcaster WDR. RWE has allocated 165 million euros to repair ...
  • State premier: “Lignite indispensable until 2050“

    Germany’s lignite industry received a lot of support at an energy conference in eastern Germany, economic newspaper Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft reports. At the Eastern German Energy Forum, the state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, Rainer Haseloff, said ...
  • No more “reliable friends” for coal in any of Germany’s parties

    Many parties avoided clear messages on a lignite phase-out in their election programmes, but “coal does not have reliable friends in any of the parties, anymore”, writes Klaus Stratmann in an article for Handelsblatt. Party programmes lack “coherent ...
  • “War on the excavator”

    Police in the western German city of Aachen are worried that the planned anti-coal protests in the Rhineland mining region next week could turn violent, Reiner Burger reports for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Dirk Weinspach, chief of Aachen’s police, ...
  • “Germany's long goodbye to coal despite Merkel's green push”

    Coal-fired power generation “looks set to remain the backbone” of Germany’s energy supply, writes Vera Eckert for Reuters. This contrasts with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s international ambition as climate protection role model, she adds. Read the article ...
  • Another 20 years needed for responsible lignite exit – Saxony state premier

    The country’s lignite phase out needs another 20 years to avoid a “harsh structural break” for Germany’s coal regions – like it happened at the time of German reunification, Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer told Leipziger Volkszeitung in an ...
  • “Burning the target”

    Germany risks “tacitly joining Donald Trump in turning its back on the Paris climate change deal” as the state governments of North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg  “have vowed to protect” the lignite mining industry, writes Olaf Storbeck for Reuters ...
  • Medical doctors call for German coal exit by 2030

    On the occasion of World Health Day on 7 April, medical doctors and climate protection proponents called for a coal exit in Germany by 2030. "We are firmly opposed to an economy that causes and tolerates illness," reads a declaration issued by ...
  • “Coal-fired power plants remain top industrial polluters in Europe”

    Six of the top ten industrial polluters regarding CO₂ emissions in the EU are German lignite-fired power plants, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing. Bełchatów in Poland was responsible for the highest amounts of CO₂. The EEA ...
  • Head of Germany’s Medical Association calls for abandoning coal and oil

    Doctors in Germany should do more to promote the end of coal and oil in order to improve public health, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, head of the German Medical Association (Ärztekammer), says in an interview with movum magazine. “Climate change is real, it is ...
  • Delayed coal power plant symbol of “energy industry arrogance” - opinion

    E.ON should have never begun building the long-delayed hard coal power plant in Datteln, because the energy transition was already in full swing at the start of construction in 2007 and coal “a phase-out model”, writes Jürgen Flauger in an opinion piece ...
  • Stakeholders in coal exit debate stuck in established lines of reasoning

    The stakeholders in Germany’s ongoing coal exit debate “still form coalitions with traditional allies and cling to established lines of reasoning,” according to a paper written by Anna Leipprand and Christian Flachsland, and published in Energy Research ...
  • “Berlin advances coal phase-out”

    Berlin will end coal-fired energy generation by 2030, the city's government, the Senat, said in a press release. The city will stop using lignite by the end of 2017. A corresponding draft law will now be introduced in the city’s parliament. Berlin ...
  • Despite a drop in coal use, the UK is not a better climate protection role model than Germany - blog

    In contrast to Germany, coal use and emissions have fallen quickly in the UK, following the introduction of a carbon floor price, writes Craig Morris in a blog on  energytransition.org. “Like Germany, the UK has made too little progress outside the power ...
  • North Rhine-Westphalia key to Germany’s energy transition – report

    In order for Germany to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target, a rapid phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation is needed across the country, but especially in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), according to a report published by ...
  • “Germany loses pioneer role to China and India”

    Germany’s image as a pioneer and enabler of renewable energy has suffered over the past years due to the diesel emissions scandal and the government’s reluctance to initiate a coal phase-out, writes Gregor Vulturius, research fellow at the Stockholm ...
  • Resistance to plans to stop pumping mine water

    Several communities, local governments and regional parliaments in the small German state of Saarland oppose plans by hard coal mining foundation RAG-Stiftung to progressively reduce pumping mine water and let groundwater levels rise, Bernd Freytag ...
  • 2018 decisive year for coal and climate in Germany

    In a “ decisive year ” 2018, the next German government must determine the course for the country’s exit from coal-fired power generation, and deal with the looming failure to reach its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in ...
  • Pressure on Germany grows as international alliance to phase out coal gathers steam

    An accelerated drive to phase out coal both in Europe and internationally – fuelled by the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) and the emergence of the European Commission’s Coal Regions in Transition Platform – puts additional pressure on the EU’s largest ...
  • World will use coal for some time and Germany should research CCU technologies - opinion

    The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) report Coal 2017 shows that the world will continue to be “addicted” to coal for its energy supply for the coming years- Germany’s contribution to climate protection should be researching and testing new carbon ...
  • Merkel: 2020 climate target plays big role in upcoming coalition talks

    12 Oct 2017 (All day) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she does not give up the government’s goal to reduce CO₂ emissions by 40 percent by 2020, which would “play a big role” in the upcoming talks to form a new government coalition. Germany’s broad ...
  • German utilities could save 12 billion euros by retiring coal plants early – analysis

    Almost all coal plants in the EU will make losses by 2030, according to a Carbon Tracker analysis, Jess Shankleman and Rachel Morison report for Bloomberg. Because battery storage will increasingly provide power at times of peak demand, and because the EU ...
  • Coal state premier against fixing date for lignite exit

    German coal mining state Brandenburg premier Dietmar Woidke has rejected calls for an end date for the country’s use of lignite for power generation. “A discussion on whether we will switch off brown coal in 10, 20 or 40 years would only lead to a loss of ...
  • Coal exit will lead to billions in compensation payouts - Saxony’s state premier

    Saxony’s parting State Premier, Stanislaw Tillich, has said that over six billion euros in compensation payments were necessary if Germany wanted to phase out lignite-fired power production over the next few years. According to the conservative politician ...
  • City of Berlin adopts law to exit coal power by 2030

    The city of Berlin has decided to exit coal power generation by 2030 to protect the climate. The state coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), the Left Party, and the Greens has passed a corresponding law, according to a news report by press agency dpa ...
  • Future of coal one among the coalition talks' most delicate topics

    The future of coal-fired power generation is going to be one of the coalition talks’ most delicate matters, Michael Bauchmüller says in an article for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “All other energy policy issues pale in comparison to the coal question,” he writes ...
  • Climate poster boy Germany has not done its homework

    The upcoming UN climate change conference (COP23), which will take place in Bonn on 6-17 November, will focus the international community’s attention on the fact that Germany, the poster boy of climate protection, is bound to miss its 2020 targets, writes ...
  • Interior minister calls for revival of 1989-90 spirit to accomplish Energiewende in East Germany

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for the revival of the “spirit of the generation of 1989-90” to tackle current challenges like the Energiewende or globalisation, Leipziger Volkszeitung reports. At an event celebrating the 25 th ...
  • Company turning lignite into humus says procedure is option for mining regions after coal exit

    A new company from Germany’s biggest lignite mining region, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), has developed a procedure that turns the brown coal traditionally used as a fossil fuel into a high-output fertiliser for plants, Brigitte Koch writes in the ...
  • “Germans expect plan for coal exit from next government”

    72 percent of Germans say that the next government should decide on a timetable for the country’s coal exit, according to a representative survey by Kantar Emnid, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND). 59 percent of respondents said that ...
  • “An abundance of dirty coal power”

    The lack of flexibility in running brown coal and nuclear power stations are the cause of Germany’s high power export surplus, says consultancy Energy Research Architecture in a study commissioned by the Green group in the German Bundestag. The more ...
  • Anti-coal mining area residents demand voice in coal exit commission

    A broad anti-coal alliance of local residents, church representatives, politicians, and doctors demand participation in Germany’s upcoming coal exit commission, reports Thorsten Knuf in Frankfurter Rundschau. “As residents of lignite mining areas in the ...
  • Speedy coal exit possible without risk to supply security – analysis

    Germany can take the most climate-damaging coal power stations off the grid by 2020 while also accelerating its nuclear exit without putting supply security at risk, according to an analysis by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND). In a detailed “shutdown ...
  • “We’ve looked the other way too long”

    Western Germany’s coal mining regions have long profited from mining companies’ cash flow into local communities but in exchange have tacitly agreed not to talk about immediate effects on the environment, disappearing villages, and emissions, Burkhard ...
  • “Insincere German climate policy”

    German coal states have been insincere by voting for the Paris Climate Agreement last year in the Bundesrat – the council of state governments – and now toning down their climate protection efforts, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece in ...
  • “A corporation cannot dictate a state’s energy policy”

    It is incomprehensible that the Left Party in the Brandenburg state government does not defend existing ambitious emission reduction targets against its coalition partner SPD, writes Eva Bulling-Schröter, spokesperson for energy and climate policy for the ...
  • Coal states call for legal action against EU Commission on environmental regulations for coal power plants

    Germany’s coal states are calling on the federal government to prevent stricter emissions limits for coal-fired power plants by taking legal action against the EU Commission, writes public broadcaster rbb in an article. A spokesperson for Saxony’s ...
  • “The Renewable Energy Act has to go”

    The Renewable Energy Act (EEG) should be ditched and replaced by a carbon tax, writes Dieter Dürand in an opinion piece in WirtschaftsWoche. “It is time for a clear cut: get rid of the EEG. In its place could be a simple tax on CO 2,” writes Dürand. “This ...
  • Economy ministry rejects NGO demand for moratorium on coal plant approvals

    The approval processes for coal plants and mine expansions will not be halted while the upcoming multi-stakeholder commission on Germany’s coal exit – the so-called coal commission – discusses the country’s phase-out-path, indicates the economy ministry ...
  • “Lusatia cannot save the world’s climate”

    Helmar Rendez, head of Lusatian energy company Leag, is opposed to phasing out lignite-fired power production to protect the climate, Jens Tartler writes in Der Tagesspiegel. “We need to let go of the illusion that Lusatia can save the world’s climate ...
  • Four ministries will jointly work in coal commission

    Four German ministers will “jointly work” in the country’s “coal commission” – tasked with finding a phase-out compromise – said chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) at a press conference after a two-day cabinet retreat in Meseberg near Berlin. Economy minister ...
  • “Coal commission” should be headed by ministry for economics and energy – Merkel

    Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the country’s “coal commission” tasked with finding a phase-out compromise should be headed by the ministry for economics and energy. After a cabinet meeting, she also said in addition to economy minister Peter ...
  • State minister calls quick end of coal-fired power production “utopian”

    The economy minister of German federal state Brandenburg has called a speedy phase-out of coal-fired power production “utopian”, Märkische Allgemeine reports. SPD-politician Albrecht Gerber said while restructuring the energy system in the long-term was a ...
  • 13 Feb 2019 |

    Germany to stay in command on Nord Stream 2 after deal with France on EU directive

    13 Feb 2019, 10:15 Representatives of European Union member states endorsed a last-ditch German and French proposal to amend some of the language of the new rules on how to regulate pipeline projects such as Nord Stream 2. The deal would introduce tougher ...
  • Saxony’s SPD backs continued lignite mining in Lusatia

    Social Democrats (SPD) in Saxony have made clear they consider lignite mining to play an important role as a “bridging technology” in Germany’s energy supply for the foreseeable future, Welt Online reports. “We rely on a gradual approach that equally ...
  • “The Paris climate targets can also be met with coal”

    Germany will be able to fulfil its Paris Climate Agreement obligations as well as the EU’s 2030 climate targets with a continued use of coal-fired power production, trade union IG BCE’s head Michael Vassiliadis said in an interview with Dresdner Neueste ...
  • “Coal-fired power stations are not necessarily a barrier to the expansion of renewable energy”

    Old coal-fired power plants can be made more flexible at reasonable expense, allowing countries with a high share of coal-based electricity to make a smooth transition to a climate-friendly energy system, according to a new study by think tank Agora ...
  • 1.23 billion euros over next five years for recultivation of former lignite mines in eastern Germany

    Eastern German regions will receive 1.23 billion euros over the next five years for the recultivation of former lignite mines, according to the federal finance (BMF) and environment (BMUB) ministries. The federal finance and environment ministers signed ...
  • Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out

    22 May 2018 Energy transition pioneer Germany is about to launch a highly anticipated task force on phasing out coal power, the most prominent blemish on the country’s climate record. The government will likely nominate the coal exit commission on ...
  • "Germany's high coal consumption undermines Energiewende credibility"

    Chancellor Angela Merkel calls climate change "a question of survival", but blocks a coal exit in Germany, according to Greenpeace. "Climate protection without coal exit is like trying to extinguish a fire with petrol," said ...
  • No economic future for coal plant Jänschwalde due to new EU emissions limits - report

    German coal-fired power plant Jänschwalde “probably has no economic future post-2021” because of new European Union limits on emissions for power plants, according to a report by US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). ...
  • Mining trade union head: Resistance to open pit mining resembles "a civil war”

    The head of Germany’s largest mining trade union IG BCE, Michael Vassiliadis, has said resistance to open pit mining in the country resembles “a civil war,” Rudolf Barnholt writes in Rheinische Post. At an event in the run-up to state elections in North ...
  • “The mining curse haunts lignite towns”

    The misery of fossil utilities means lignite mines and power plants no longer ensure regional prosperity, writes Jeffrey Michel in a blog post for energytransition.de. The situation in eastern German lignite mining region Lusatia is particularly dramatic ...
  • Economy minister “Zypries opposes quick lignite exit”

    German economy minister Brigitte Zypries opposes a quick end to lignite-fired power production in the country, Christian Grimm writes in an article for Dow Jones Newswires carried by website finanztreff.de. “We cannot afford to shut down the large lignite ...
  • “Bärbel Höhn: ‘We need to exit coal’”

    Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), was “the key state for the energy transition” and needs to exit coal, former state environment minister and Green politician Bärbel Höhn said at an election rally, writes Thomas Peter in ...
  • “Happy RWE shareholders, angry environmentalists”

    Municipal shareholders have stressed the importance of utility RWE ’s dividend payouts to the communal coffers at the company’s annual general meeting, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports. CEO Martin Schmitz’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by ...
  • “Coal exit”

    Exiting coal-fired power generation in Germany is a matter of when, not if, according to a meta study by  the Wuppertal Institute, commissioned by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). The study analyses position papers and scientific ...
  • 16 Jan 2017 |

    Environment agency shows options for halving coal emissions by 2030

    16 Jan 2017 (All day) The best way for Germany to reach its 2030 emissions target for the power sector is by shutting down old coal plants, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) suggests. This strategy is more attractive than an additional CO2 levy, ...
  • 13 Jan 2017 |

    Preview2017- "Coal exit must start now"

    13 Jan 2017 (All day) 2017 will be a year filled with a multitude of seminal events for Germany's energy and climate policy. Apart from presiding over the next G20 summit, Germany will be the venue for the UN's COP23 and see legal reforms of ...
  • “How far is Germany from a complete coal exit?”

    Germany's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction plans are facing a major obstacle: an apparent addiction to coal, reports Irene Banos Ruiz for Deutsche Welle. Mining company RWE is planning the expansion of some of Europe's biggest coal mines, ...
  • “Coal plants continue to play an important role”

    Conventional power plants that run on coal, gas, and nuclear energy are a fundamental part of Germany’s energy transition, Lars Kulik, board member at utility RWE’s lignite branch, writes in a guest article for financial market newspaper Börsen-Zeitung. ...
  • East German mining company scraps Lusatia mine expansion plans

    In a far-reaching decision, eastern German energy company and operator of one of the country’s largest lignite mining operations LEAG scrapped plans by former owner Vattenfall to expand one of its lignite mines, and downsizing or putting on hold other ...
  • Mining trade union: Coal exit after 2040 “realistic”

    The head of German mining trade union IG BCE, Michael Vassiliadis, opposes a quick phase-out of coal-fired power production, Handelsblatt reports based on an interview by news agency dpa. A speedy decommissioning of lignite power plants would be “absurd,” ...
  • Saxony’s state premier says coal needed for at least another 30 years

    Coal will continue to be an important component of Germany’s power supply for at least another three decades, Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer told news agency Reuters. As an industrialised country, Germany “cannot afford to do without this ...
  • “Dispute about coal exit”

    Mining Union IG BCE has rejected the Green Party’s proposal for a lignite phase-out, report Silke Kersting and Frank Specht in Handelsblatt. It did not do justice to the topic to “simply view it from the perspective of campaign planning for the upcoming ...
  • “How EU can limit coal’s life for the cost of a pint of beer”

    Retiring most of Europe’s dirtiest power plants is cheaper than most people think, report Mathew Carr, Tino Andresen, and Brian Parkin for Bloomberg. A price floor of 30 euros per tonne of CO 2- six times the current price- would cost each European ...
  • Lignite industry central to Lusatian town of Boxberg

    The lignite industry is central to the local economy in the Lusatian town of Boxberg, reports Carla Mattern in regional newspaper Sächsische Zeitung. Of its population of around 4,750, 1,882 are employed in the town’s large lignite power station or its ...
  • “Existing east German open pit lignite mines suffice until phase-out”

    There will be no need to extend Germany’s open pit lignite mines if the country sticks to its climate protection targets, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) writes in a press release. Lignite reserves in already-approved mines were ...
  • “RWE Power warns of structural breaks”

    German utility RWE warns of structural breaks in the Rhenish lignite mining area in western Germany if the government decides on an early coal-exit date, writes Carsten Sommerfeld in Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung. “We need time for structural adaptation. ...
  • “Germany to complete yet another coal plant“

    German utility Uniper is set to put its new coal plant Datteln 4 into operation despite a dire outlook for the industry in the country, Craig Morris writes on energytransition.org. “With a billion euros already sunk in the plant, Uniper’s decision to ...
  • “Warriors in a tree house”

    Climate activists’ guerrilla-style protest against lignite mining in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has divided the region, reports Stefan Schultz in a long article in Spiegel Online. The dispute dates back to 2012, but is now ...
  • RWE and state of North Rhine-Westphalia reject court settlement on lignite mining

    German utility RWE and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have rejected a court settlement offer that would have allowed the company to continue producing lignite in its largest open pit mine on the proviso that it refrained from carrying out clearing ...
  • Siemens calls for “accelerated” coal exit and European carbon price

    Germany’s largest industrial company Siemens has sent an unofficial working paper to members of the Green Party in which it calls for “an accelerated end of coal-fired power production” coupled with a European carbon floor price. In the four-page document ...
  • Germany’s lignite security standby has not been used

    The German federal government has said that the country’s security standby of lignite power plants with a total capacity of 2.7 gigawatts has not yet been used, but operators are paid a total of 234 million euros in 2017 and 2018 to keep them at the ready ...
  • Coal mining region Lusatia should receive 100 mio per year to manage exit - study

    The eastern German coal mining region of Lusatia should receive 100 million euros in public funds per year from 2019 on to facilitate the “structural development” of the local economy that is currently centred on lignite production, think tank Agora ...
  • New federal emissions limits in 2018 will decide coal exit speed in city of Berlin

    The state parliament of Berlin will decide on an act today that would enshrine into law the year 2030 as the city’s coal exit date- but new emissions limits in 2018 could lead to an earlier phase-out, writes Claudius Prösser in tageszeitung (taz). By the ...
  • Next government must put cap on coal power production – env min state secretary

    The outgoing grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD made the mistake of not putting a general cap on coal-fired power production when it mothballed several old an inefficient lignite plants in 2016 in order to save CO₂ emissions, Jochen Flasbarth, Social ...
  • Next German government needs “realistic plan” for workers and regions if it seeks coal exit – union head

    Should the next German government decide to seek a coal exit, it must also care for the workers' and mining regions’ future, said Michael Vassiliadis, head of Germany’s largest mining trade union IG BCE and one of Germany's most prominent ...
  • New government coalition should agree on coal end date - opinion

    Germany’s coal exit will be a major energy and climate policy topic in the coalition talks and the next government should work towards a coal consensus – similar to the one found on the exit from nuclear power, Jürgen Flauger writes in an opinion piece in ...
  • Football rivals will face-off in 2018 to mark end of hard coal mining

    To mark the end of hard coal mining in Germany, players from rival football clubs Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 and other clubs in the western German Ruhr coal mining area will team up for a friendly match against the Polish national team in 2018, ...
  • “Is German climate leadership being sacrificed on the altar of coal?”

    No matter who will govern Germany after this week’s election, a coalition agreement that does not include a commitment to address a phase-out of coal-fired power production “would be a bad sign”, Julian Schwartzkopff writes on euractiv.com. The technology ...
  • Siemens CEO proposes to transform lignite mining region into e-mobility hub

    In a surprise move, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser has proposed a large-scale project to transform Germany’s eastern lignite mining region into a hub for future technologies, such as e-mobility, reports Rüdiger Köhn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We have ...
  • Merkel’s promise: We will find ways to meet our climate target by 2020

    In a televised town hall campaign event, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised voters that Germany would find ways to meet its ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020. One young first-time voter asked about shutting down coal ...
  • “Exiting coal by 2030”

    Germany’s energy transition “is no energy transition” since the country continues to heavily rely on lignite power as its most important source of energy, Christian Schlesinger writes in the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. If Germany wants to lower its ...
  • “European climate protesters take on German coal”

    Around 6,000 European climate change activists aiming to "block coal infrastructure, to call for an immediate phase-out" of lignite mining,  have gathered in Germany's coal districts, writes Chase Winter in an article for Deutsche Welle. ...
  • “That went wrong in the GDR already”

    Germany’s Energiewende will not succeed “fast and easy”, and the country’s energy supply will continue to depend on lignite for some time, said Brandenburg’s state economy minister Albrecht Gerber in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “I do know that ...
  • Germany runs risk of losing Energiewende plot, needs carbon price – E.ON CEO

    Johannes Teyssen, the chief executive of energy company E.ON, said Germany is running the risk of losing the overarching plot of its Energiewende. He warned that the current government is focusing again too much on side-aspects such as the exact date and ...
  • CDU & Greens' energy politicians clash over Germany's coal exit speed

    10 Oct 2017 One week before the start of exploratory talks on forming a government coalition, aspiring German government alliance partners CDU and the Green Party agree that the country will have to phase out coal-fired power production. Yet, two of the ...
  • Germany’s coal commission insists no decision yet on exit date

    18 Sep 2018, 18:50 The country’s coal exit commission said there were no predetermined decisions regarding a date for the end to coal-fired power generation. Following irritation about reports of a supposed compromise on a 2038 end date, economy minister ...
  • Unions, Green MP: Coal exit through climate plan commission “depends on election result”

    A plan for an exit from coal-fired power generation in Germany will not necessarily be the result of the structural commission agreed by the current government in the country’s climate action plan 2050. That was the claim made by Michael Vassiliadis, head ...
  • SPD deputy chair says Germany’s coal exit a “question not of ‘if’, but ‘how’”

    The Social Democrats’ (SPD) deputy chair Ralf Stegner has said that as far as he is concerned, the German coal exit is not a question of “if” but “how.” At the debate forum“Sustainability and climate protection: What roadmap do the parties have?”, ...
  • “At least 1.2 billion for Lusatia”

    Eastern German states Saxony and Brandenburg demand at least 1.2 billion euros in federal funds to finance the economic transformation of their shared coal-mining region Lusatia, Jens Blankennagel writes in Berliner Zeitung. “ The end of coal mining there ...
  • “German government falls behind on its obligations“

    The decision by US President Donald Trump to pull his country out of the global Paris Climate Agreement has been met with dismay and defiance by the German government, Silke Kersting writes on Handelsblatt Online. Meanwhile, environmental organisations ...
  • Lignite plant closures unlikely despite financial problems - study

    Germany’s lignite power stations, which are particularly harmful to the climate, currently do not earn enough money to recuperate investment costs, or to invest in the maintenance and extension of connected mines, says a study conducted by the Institute ...
  • “Probably the greatest malfunction in the red-green coalition”

    North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) Green environment minister Johannes Remmel has angered the party's SPD coalition partners, as well as the CDU, with a call to  close 10 local coal-fired power plants, Guido M. Hartmann writes on Welt Online. Just days ...
  • “With the weapons of capital”

    Green power provider Greenpeace Energy uses “the weapons of capital” to push for a German coal exit by offering a power contract that lets customers invest in renewables expansion in the country’s lignite areas, writes Michael Bauchmüller for Süddeutsche ...
  • Mining union calls for Energiewende ministry

    Germany’s largest mining trade union has called on the next federal government to assign the tasks related to energy, transport, and housing policies to a ‘ministry of energy transition’. This would help the country avoid the current “uncoordinated ...
  • Quick German coal exit feasible, say energy politicians of Bavaria’s CSU

    A energy transition working group of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, has published a paper saying that the effects of an end to coal-fired power production in Germany “are far less damaging ...
  • Green MP says coal exit would happen even without climate protection goals

    Germany would have to discontinue coal-fired power production even without committing itself to climate protection goals, Oliver Krischer, vice-chairman of the Green Party’s parliamentary group, said during a speech on his party’s energy policy ambitions ...
  • “Berlin blocks stricter emissions tests”

    The federal German government is blocking tighter controls of the auto industry in Europe, report Markus Balser and Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The EU Commission is currently working on an emissions testing overhaul that would allow closer ...
  • German lignite dominates list of most polluting European power plants

    German lignite plants make up seven out of 10 of Europe’s biggest polluters, according to an analysis of European ETS data by climate NGO Sandbag. “That is because lignite power plants, especially in Germany, continue to run nearly 24 hours a day x 7 days ...
  • 04 Oct 2018 |

    Germany’s 'huge step' to solve diesel crisis leaves NGOs unconvinced

    04 Oct 2018, 17:11 Germany’s government has decided to reduce emissions from diesel cars in polluted cities by swapping old models for new ones and retrofitting some older cars. Transport minister Andreas Scheuer and environment minister Svenja Schulze ...
  • Merkel – Germany must soon decide whether to aim for 80 or 95 percent CO2 reduction by 2050

    Germany should specify its mid-century climate ambitions soon, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. “From my point of view, this must be decided at the start of the next legislative period,” she said at a conference by local utility association VKU. ...
  • “Clean energy’s dirty secret”

    The rapid rise of renewable energy systems in recent years could signal that “the world is entering an era of clean, unlimited and cheap power,” The Economist writes. But while it was “about time” renewables played a more important role, the “dirty secret ...
  • Utility EnBW’s CEO: Coal exit “not a problem for us”

    German utility EnBW’s CEO,  Frank Mastiaux, said a coal exit decided by  Germany’s next government  would “not be an existential problem" for the company. In an interview with Greenpeace Magazin, Mastiaux said his company had “already included”  a ...
  • “Coal exit by 2035”

    For Germany to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets, a phase out of coal-fired power generation must be complete by 2035 and the oldest facilities shut down as soon as 2019, according to a study by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) and ...
  • “Gabriel: No race to end coal”

    A concrete year for a German coal exit can't be specified, because of the many factors involved, according to economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, writes the Rheinische Post. “I don’t think much of this chase for phase-out dates,” which could easily lead ...
  • “Coal-fired power production: 50 percent less by 2030 is possible – and necessary”

    German coal-fired power production needs to be more than halved by 2030 if the country is to reach the climate targets spelled out in its Climate Action Plan 2050, according to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). This is best achieved by switching off ...
  • “Roadmap for a coal exit”

    The Green parliamentary group in the federal parliament (Bundestag) approved a resolution on a timetable for a coal-exit in Germany at its new year’s meeting in Weimar. “With the step-by-step, economically and socially compatible coal exit, we as the ...
  • “The creeping end of coal”

    Germany will inevitably scrap coal-fired power production even though the move has not yet been officially announced, Klaus Stratmann writes in Handelsblatt. Coal-fired generating units with an installed capacity of 4,772 megawatts – the equivalent of ...
  • G20: “Merkel must deliver“

    The G20 is in principle “an acceptable format” to find solutions for big global challenges, but the Hamburg summit “must deliver results” given the costs associated with hosting the event, said Sweelin Heuss, managing director at Greenpeace Germany, at a ...
  • SPD shuns coal exit commitment, points at other sectors for decarbonisation

    Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks has shunned calls for making a clear commitment to initialising the country’s exit from coal-fired power production. At a press conference by government members of her Social Democratic Party (SPD), ...
  • Grand coalition energy experts reject Greens' coal exit plans

    Energy experts of Germany’s grand coalition of conservatives (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) have rebuffed the Green Party’s plans for an accelerated coal exit. “We cannot phase out both nuclear and coal-fired power production within 15 or 20 years,” ...
  • Deutsche Bank revises coal investment guidelines

    Deutsche Bank will no longer grant new financing for thermal coal mining or new coal-fired power plants, Germany’s largest bank said in a press release. The bank will also “reduce its existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector,” it said. Deutsche ...
  • 08 Nov 2017 |

    COP23- Day 3: US should be kept on board / "Time to stop digging"

    08 Nov 2017 Talks in Bonn as technical as expected but also “unexcited, friendly and positive”, says German negotiator / Developing countries call for voluntary reporting / US should remain part of COPs / German taxpayers are financing the climate crisis- ...
  • Booming German wind power sector fears 2019 cliff

    11 Sep 2017 Wind power lobby groups say new funding rules are resulting in unrealistically low compensation, squeezing wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers, while measures to help citizen-owned projects compete in the sector are being abused. The ...
  • 10 Nov 2017 |

    COP23- Day 5: Progress in tough talks

    10 Nov 2017 (All day) Tough talks- but not yet reason to worry / EU remains steadfast on pre-2020 action and inflexible on Adaptation Fund / "No jobs on a dead planet"- trade unions / Climate-smart agriculture / Effects of climate change in ...
  • Germany’s roadmap to CO2-neutrality delayed amid industry objections

    24 Jun 2016 (All day) Germany’s first roadmap for decarbonisation by the middle of the century has been delayed amid industry fears that tough climate targets would endanger the country’s economic competitiveness and growth. The Environment Ministry in ...
  • 07 Aug 2015

    In the media: New offshore planning solutions

    07 Aug 2015 (All day) WirtschaftsWoche “Good solution for new energy” The German state could become responsible for offshore scoping and measuring activities if future wind parks in the sea are paid via a tender system, writes Christian Schlesiger in the ...
  • 13 Jan 2016

    'Inflated' grid fees / Report on 'successful' PV pilot auctions

    13 Jan 2016 (All day) [Updates German industry association on energy policy] Federation of German Industries (BDI) German industry association warns against German “solo” in climate, energy policy The recent Paris agreement on climate does not give ...
  • 13 Oct 2014

    Germany's energy transition in the media on 13 October

    13 Oct 2014 (All day) Der Spiegel “Energy transition: Gabriel to put more pressure on utilities” German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel plans to put more pressure on utilities by taking 10 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants offline, weekly ...
  • 19 Jun 2015

    In the media: Pope's climate message a "wake-up call" for fossil fuels

    19 Jun 2015 (All day) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) “The environment encyclical is a historic event” The Pope’s environment encyclical “ Laudato si ” could have a big climate impact on climate politics in Poland, Latin America, parts of Africa, the ...
  • When will Germany finally ditch coal?

    16 Dec 2016 (All day) Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 – which details how the country is to become close to carbon-neutral by mid-century – failed to set a deadline for the last of its coal-fired power plants to go offline. The country’s power supply ...
  • COP23- See the energy transition in Germany's industrial centre

    30 Oct 2017 Germany’s coal mining state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) hosts the United Nations’ COP23 climate summit in Bonn. The epicentre of Germany’s industrialisation, this region is responsible for almost one percent of global CO2 emissions, and is ...
  • 23 Jun 2016 |

    Climate Action Plan 2050: Negotiating a path to decarbonisation

    23 Jun 2016 (All day) Even before the Paris Agreement laid out international climate commitments, Germany had set its own ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2050. But emissions from the power and transport sector are failing to fall fast ...
  • Ibbenbüren coal mine

    Coal-mining company RAG owns and operates Germany’s last two coal mines and records around 1.5 billion euros in annual sales. It employs 12,000 people, of which more than three quarters work in its mining division, which is scheduled to be wound down in ...
  • Germany's Energiewende in 416 words

    The “Energiewende” – literally meaning “energy turnaround” or “energy revolution” – is Germany’s effort to reduce climate-damaging CO 2  emissions, without relying on nuclear energy.   In the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, countries from around the ...
  • Journalism for the energy transition

    Get our Newsletter
    Join our Network
    Find an interviewee