German Government Deal: 2030 Coal Phaseout, But Plenty Of Questions Remain

Courtesy of European Environment Bureau (EEB).

The government deal, put forward by the leaders of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, includes an acceleration of the phase-out of coal “perfectly” by 2030 (eight years earlier than previously planned). Despite leaks indicating that gas boilers will be banned by 2035 and gas power generation will end by 2040, it does not appear that such commitments have finally been announced.

An accelerated phase-out of coal in 2030 is inevitable in order to meet the European Union’s environment, energy and climate goals, as well as those of the Paris Agreement. Ambition must be maintained to ensure that delays are not “ideally” allowed.

The collapse of coal profits has made coal uneconomical, which means that subsidizing German coal would be an intolerable waste of public money.

The phase-out of coal in 2030 in Germany, the largest consumer of coal in the European Union, is applying pressure on other member states lagging behind in coal exit plans, namely Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland.

In terms of heating, the announcement that “all newly installed heating systems should run at 65% renewable energy by 2025” is deeply disappointing. All new housing should rely solely on renewable heating and hybrid solutions should be left only to niche renovation markets such as sheltered buildings. Time is running out to decarbonize the heating sector which is responsible for 12% of total CO2 emissions in the EU, which is equivalent to the emissions of all cars in the EU.

Moreover, the deal appears to leave the door open for fossil gas to remain in the German energy mix with provisions on “H2 gas power plants” and the inclusion of methane-based gas in the short term, jeopardizing climate goals and leaving citizens exposed to their price volatility. .

The Paris Agreement-compliant energy scenario proves that by reducing the demand for electricity generation, especially in buildings, and increasing the supply of renewable energy, we can achieve the phase-out of fossil gas by 2035.

Ricardo NegroEEB Coal and Mines Combustion Campaign Coordinator said:

“This new deal means as a partner for coal in Germany and sets the tone for the inevitable coal end game of 2030 across Europe. Now the new German government must not waste more public money compensating corrupt operators out of an unprofitable and harmful business, but instead use this The money is for sustainable renewable energy and to ensure a just transition.”

David SabadinThe EEB campaign coordinator on heating said:

“While the high renewable energy target of 2030 will certainly lead to renewable heating in buildings, this seems like a missed opportunity for Germany to give clear indications for the heating market. Removing fossil gas from our new and existing homes is essential to achieving climate goals and protecting citizens from high energy bills. “.

Patrick Ten Brink, Deputy Secretary-General of the Executive Council, added:

“We hope the new German alliance will add its weight to avoid gas and nuclear being part of the EU’s green classification. This German government should play a pivotal role in climate negotiations and push for ambitious “fit 55” policy files and a pollution-free action plan, with the help of in ensuring that the European Green Deal reaches its transformative potential.”

The deal will be presented to the three parties for consideration and, if approved, SPD’s Olaf Schultz will be elected as chancellor in the week of December 6.

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