Germany aims to be rid of coal power plants by 2030. Previously, this target was set as 2038 at the latest. The Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals, who will form the next possible government coalition, announced the agreement they had reached and announced that they had reduced the target to 2030 with the following statements:
“An accelerated exit from the coal plant is required to meet climate protection targets. Ideally, this should be achieved by 2030.”
The first target was determined as 2038
In 2019, a group commissioned by the German government recommended that the country stop burning coal to generate electricity by 2038 at the latest.
The group, called the ‘Coal Commission’, reached a consensus after months of discussion and investigation, and other coal-dependent countries closely followed this group’s negotiations.
Representatives of mining companies, energy companies, the scientific world and environmental activists took part in the 28-member Coal Commission. The plan is based on billions of dollars in federal spending to help affected areas cope with the economic impacts and protect industry and the public from higher electricity prices.
Moving away from coal will also require major changes in Germany’s energy system. The country derives more than a third of its electricity from coal, which emits large amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change.
The German economy is the world’s fourth largest economy based on industry and engineering. For this reason, it is thought that the decisions taken by the Germans will have a significant impact on the continent and the world. Currently, Germany’s coal plants produce the largest amount of carbon dioxide compared to any country in Europe.
The government will have to negotiate this plan with all switchboard operators individually, but it is not expected to be difficult as a serious support and assistance plan is envisaged. Over the next 10 years, the government will help create up to 5,000 new jobs in the affected areas when coal mining is stopped. These regions are the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. In addition, a total of $45.6 billion in federal support will be provided over the next 20 years.
Energy transition agreement
In Germany, the parties agreed on an “energy transition” that involved replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources such as wind power and solar energy. In 2020, renewables provided Germany with more energy than coal for the first time. However, it is very difficult to completely remove coal from electricity generation. The reduction in coal will require an increase in renewable resources. At least in this process, the country will have to burn more natural gas.