the Federal Cabinet wants the bill on the coal phase-out to be launched
bring. It provides for the last lignite-fired power plant to go offline in 2038.
The Details of the exit path had the
Federal government in mid-January in the
Lashing conversation with the prime ministers of the participating states;
she agreed on compensation payments with the power plant operators. The President of the German nature protection ring Kai
Niebert criticized along with other members of the
Coal Commission the bill,
Here he talks about the reasons.
ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Niebert, you have the Coal Commission
the compromise on coal exit negotiated and now say that you are
feel "simply cheated" by the plans of the federal government. This is a
pretty drastic choice of words.
Kai Niebert: But it is justified. The Federal Chancellery
has worked with the Prime Ministers to compromise the coal commission
mitigated in climate protection and discarded at crucial points.
ZEIT ONLINE: Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier
sees it differently. He says the decision meets the requirements of the coal commission, and speaks of a "good agreement for climate protection",
Niebert: You can break the word break at four points,
where the Commission's recommendations are not implemented one-to-one
have been. First, the Commission recommended that one be given at the start of the phase-out
Decommission power plant capacity of around three gigawatts. In the shutdown plan of
government it is now only 2.8 gigawatts. One will try the rest
also scrape together by switching off micro power plants, but
it is not yet possible to predict which these should be. That said, that amount is
also not yet guaranteed. The second point: the Commission has decided on one
agreed exit path as steady as possible. Most of it is now running
Power plants continue until 2029 and then shut down, and most of the rest
Power plants even run until 2038. That means that the dismantling is coming by leaps and bounds
Third was a substantial intermediate step for 2025
arranged. Then it should be ten million tons CO2 additionally reduced
what corresponds to the shutdown of two gigawatts of old lignite. The
was lashed so tight last night by the coal commission. Are from it
has now become 500 megawatts, equivalent to around 2.5 million tons of CO2
only a quarter.
Last but not least goes with dates 4 a brand new one
Coal power plant on the grid, contrary to the decisions of the coal commission and against
every climate policy conscience. While this is more efficient, it does so
run more often than old power plants and therefore emit more CO2.
ZEIT ONLINE: What does the bottom line mean?
Niebert: All in all, by 2038
Brewing power plants emitted around 180 million tons more CO2 than from
Coal commission agreed. The Commission's exit path would be that
Emissions fell by almost 20 percent more.
Theoretically, you could make up for part of it by
to switch off hard coal power plants faster than planned. In practice it is
but this is problematic because these power plants are more distributed in the country than that
Lignite plants. They are often where the electricity is still needed,
are also less harmful to the climate than that Brown coal and usually become fewer
busy. Lignite-fired power plants are located near the open-cast mines.
So you have to transport your electricity over longer distances. For the
Power grid could become a huge problem.
ZEIT ONLINE: But is your pessimism appropriate? In your
Emissions calculation assume that the lignite-fired power plants cover the entire
The remaining term is at least well utilized. It doesn't have to be that way.
Niebert: Whether this happens depends heavily
depends on how profitable the operation of the coal-fired power plants is. That in turn depends
on the price of CO2 certificates in European emissions trading. Only with one
At a price of 60 euros per tonne of CO2, lignite-fired power plants become unprofitable – in
At the moment it is 25 euros. So it happens on its own
In addition to a constant switch-off path, it is therefore immense
important that the Federal government those released by the coal exit
Deletes certificates reliably. Otherwise, the price of CO2 will drop across Europe,
which in turn causes emissions to skyrocket. The deletion is in the
Draft law provided. The exact mechanism is still unclear and
urgently needs to be worked out rigorously.
ZEIT ONLINE: You have the one now provided
Coal exit path criticized even before the federal government
Has submitted a bill. In your opinion, does it contain any improvements?
Niebert: The federal government has the coal commission
used to solve a problem that she could not handle herself.
Then she promised to implement the Commission's results one-to-one. Instead
she unleashes the well-balanced compromise in a kungel round and gives it
Associations and commissioners only have 22 hours to submit their bill
To comment. Such an approach raises the question of whether the government
Takes dialogue with civil society seriously.