German Commission Calls for Long Good-bye to Coal
German gas industry lobby group Zukunft Erdgas (ZE) welcomed the coal commission's recommendation January 26 to phase out coal from the country's energy sector, despite the 20-year lead-time. Recognising that the compromise was the best that could be hoped for, ZE said January 28 it was now down to the government to "adopt the recommendations of the expert panel and to translate these into concrete laws. The gas industry is ready to make the necessary investments."
ZE said in a statement January 24 that it was encouraging that the coal commission was able to achieve results that were satisfactory for all stakeholder groups involved. Now it is time to set out these measures in a concrete exit path and a date for closing the last such plant, otherwise it remains with vague promises without effective climate protection, it said. That date is to be 2038.
ZE said the report "marks a decisive turning point in German climate policy. It paved the way for a climate-friendly energy production. The industry now has a clear roadmap, which is supported by all stakeholders, providing planning and investment security for power plant operators. It is particularly gratifying that the commission intends to strengthen the role of gas as a backup and storage system. The planned extension of combined heat and power production and the additional investment incentives to expand the gas-fired power plant park are important steps to accelerate this transformation process and to rapidly reduce emissions in power generation. It is also a good signal that the coupling of electricity and gas infrastructures should be driven forward by the power-to-gas innovation technology."
ZE also called for an expansion target for green gas. Its members include companies such as Uniper, which is building coal-fired generation; and the producer Wintershall.