Dear Sir or Madam,
In 2017, Germany emitted a total of 906.6 million tonnes of CO2 or its equivalents in other greenhouse gases. Thanks in part to the windy weather in 2017, the share of renewable energies was so strong that the energy sector emitted 19.5 million tons less and Germany’s total emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases by 4.4 million tons (0.5 %) decreased.
However, at 313 million tonnes, the energy sector is still the sector to which the greatest weight is attached in complying with German climate targets.
Now, Germany’s coal commission has recommended that the complete phase-out of coal be burned by 2038. Since the last German nuclear power plant should be shut down in 2022, this is an ambitious task, even if many environmentalists naturally take too long to do so. After all, the aim is to secure the supply of electricity, make socially compatible job losses and create new prospects for the affected regions.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier, who was also Federal Minister for the Environment just a few years ago, knows both sides and assumes that Germany’s climate targets can be met by successive phase-out. Because by 2030, the Federal Republic wants to emit 60% less greenhouse gases compared to the reference year 1990.
However, the phase-out of coal also means that renewables must continue to be developed, the storage technologies for electricity and the power lines that guide wind energy from the north to the south of the republic. Because without coal power and nuclear energy, the main sources of renewable energy and electricity from gas-fired power plants will remain to secure their energy supply.
The costs are currently estimated at 40 billion euros. Of this, 1.3 billion will be provided annually by the federal government for the federal states and an additional 700 million euros annually to secure concrete projects. The rising electricity prices for industry and consumers will be reduced from 2023 by a subsidy to the network charges of two billion euros annually.
Ultimately, the roadmap for further decarbonisation of the German energy industry creates planning security for German industry on the one hand and on the other hand tries to implement Germany’s climate protection goals. It is a compromise, certainly. But a result without compromise on all sides would have resulted in a much worse result, namely none at all. Therefore, it is advisable to look at the work of the coal commission once from this point of view.
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