Coal looks set to stay part of Germany's energy mix

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Subject

Coal renaissance.

Significance

Last month Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks announced that Germany must reduce coal power capacity to achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emission by 40% by 2020 (in comparison to 1990 emissions). Due to high prices for gas, the retreat from nuclear power in 2011 and the current state of the renewables sector, coal is the only resource left to replace nuclear. Currently only 4 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fired power plants are being built in Western Europe, with 35 GW of gas capacity being approved but remaining completely shelved. Instead, some gas turbines are even being sold abroad.

Impacts

  • Germany's energy transition will lead to further adaptation of the emission targets and the development targets for wind power.
  • With an increasing coal capacity for the base load and the continuing development of renewables, Germany will continue to export energy.
  • This will crowd out further gas power in surrounding countries.
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