Germany to phase out coal by 2038 in move away from fossil fuels
Germany should shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, a government-appointed commission said on Saturday, proposing at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid to regions affected by the planned phase-out.
In a first step, plant operators including RWE , Uniper, EnBW and Vattenfall will be asked to shut down about 12.7gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2022, equivalent to about 24 large power station units, the report said. Under the proposed plans, coal power capacity in Germany would more than halve to 17 GW by 2030.
The committee’s proposals, if implemented, would be the second major intervention in Germany’s energy market within a decade after a landmark decision to shut down all nuclear power stations by 2022. The decision to switch away from nuclear was taken in the wake of Japan’s Fukishima disaster in 2011.
While the 2038 exit date seems broadly in line with estimates, the report said there is a chance that the phase out could be completed by 2035, adding it would be decided in 2032 whether this was feasible.
Compensation for companies and consumers paying more for electricity because of the phase-out should be 2 billion euros a year, with the exact amount to be set in 2023, the report said. Stanislaw Tillich, the conservative former premier of the coal-producing Saxony region, said the accord would set an example for other regions in Europe, by ensuring they could develop new industries and jobs even as they phased coal out.
The next step will be for the German federal government and the 16 states to agree on how to share the cost of exiting from brown coal production. Tillich said it was imperative that all the states – not just those that now produce coal – share in the considerable burden of switching to cleaner energy. More here…