After the nuclear exit, Germany formally decided to “abandon coal” again.
On January 26, Germany withdrew from the committee after 20 hours of overnight talks. It was announced that all coal-fired power plants would be closed by 2038 years ago.
It is reported that the withdrawal from the use of coal and electricity will seriously affect Germany’s major energy giants. According to a statement issued by the energy group, the amount of compensation proposed by the energy group was 60 billion euros, but in principle the government was only willing to provide 40 billion euros as compensation.
Complete disposal of coal in 2038
German chancellor Angela Merkel promised at the 2019 annual meeting of the world economic forum in Davos that Germany would gradually stop using coal as a source of electricity. The share of renewable energy generated from the current 38% has been raised to 65% by 2030.
“We need to use more natural gas and energy prices should be more affordable,” she said.
Germany has promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 emissions by 2020, according to its previously announced climate action targets.
In order to achieve sustainable economic development, Megan Richards, director of the general department of energy of the Council of Europe, said that the EU has promised to do everything it can to build a clean economic environment that can accommodate large numbers of jobs.
In order to discuss Germany’s withdrawal from the coal industry, Germany has set up a 28-member German coal withdrawal committee appointed by Merkel. It includes members from all walks of life from the government, energy industry, environmental protection organizations and academic circles.
Finally, the 363-page document States that Germany plans to reduce coal power from the current 42.6gw to 30gw in 2022 and to 17gwa in 2030.
In addition, the committee decided to reconsider the progress in 2023, 2026 and 2029 with a view to adjusting the plan.
Ronald Pofalla, one of the committee’s chairmen, called the proposal “a historic achievement” and said it would help Germany achieve its target of reducing climate emissions by 2030.
Germany has long relied more on coal and electricity than other advanced western economies, and the domestic lignite industry is still in development. At present, Germany is the last country in the western Nordic countries to use coal power as the main source of electricity, its coal power proportion as high as 40%. Britain, by contrast, has only 5% of the data and plans to stop using coal electricity 2025 years ago.
The committee said that in the process of halting the use of coal and electricity, Natural gas will become a reserve source of power for Germany, and Germany’s electricity system will be more similar to that of Britain.
Electricity prices are doubtful
However, can the current timetable for the total disposal of coal ensure the safety of German electricity supply and the stability of electricity prices?
After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station incident in Japan in 2011, Germany announced that it would completely withdraw from nuclear power use in 2022, which also made the road to abandon coal more difficult for Germany.
At present, in the development of renewable energy, according to German latest data, Germany’s renewable energy accounted for 40.4% of the output value of public electricity in 2018. It is an increase of 2% over 2017, and for the first time exceeds the share of coal (including lignite and black coal) in production by 38%. However, at present, Germany’s renewable energy construction is obviously unable to take over all power production.
First, the expansion of energy infrastructure is limited. Many German environmentalists interviewed by the first financial secretary pointed out that there is also a feeling that Germany will support the construction of new energy sources as long as it is not near my home.
However, he said, the conflict over the installation of fans in the vicinity of his home has added a lot of additional costs to the new energy infrastructure.
Second, Germany’s new grid for new energy is now expensive. German residents’ electricity bills have risen by 3% in 2018, which has caused some complaints.
Last week, the German Federation of industries and the German industrial and commercial conference issued a new report saying that if Germany does not produce electricity and coal too fast, electricity prices will rise rapidly. The resulting additional cost of electricity will amount to 54 billion euros.
Rolf Martin Schmitz, chief executive of RWE Group, Germany’s largest power and gas company, said:”The plan will have serious consequences for the company’s lignite business”. In particular, the commission’s report noted that the Hambach forest, which is “worth being left”, is a key mining area for RWE group’s lignite, and its continued exploitation planning will be compromised.
Therefore, the amount of compensation proposed in the report has become another focus of debate. The commission said that the amount of compensation proposed by the energy group was 60 billion euros, but only 40 billion euros would be offered as compensation in the package agreed by the committee yesterday.
Meanwhile, the German federal government has to agree with 16 state governments on how to share the cost of compensation. The former conservative leader of Saxony, a major coal producer in Germany, said it was important for all state governments. Both the main coal-producing areas will have to undertake a great task of improving the use of clean energy.