The coal commission of the federal government wants to recommend a shutdown of the first coal power plants in the next four years in the consensus with the industry. This emerges from the first draft of a working group that exists in several news agencies. It states: „In order to ensure a legally compliant approach and effective climate policy implications, the Commission recommends that, by 2022, decommissioning be carried out in agreement with the respective power plant operators.“
The commission, officially titled „Growth, Structural Change and Employment“, is intended to show a way for Germany to exit coal-fired power generation. In addition, it should propose emergency measures so that the expected gap to the German climate protection target for 2020 remains as low as possible. The plan is to emit 40 percent less greenhouse gas compared to 1990.
The working group paper recommends „a mutually agreed agreement with the operators, preferably on a contractual basis“. The agreement should contain provisions „on possible compensation payments for the operators as well as regulations on the socially responsible organization of the exit“.
Unclear how much power is coming from the grid
For the financing of the recommended measures „the necessary budget funds are to be made available“, write the authors: „A surcharge on the electricity price does not take place.“ The draft does not yet contain any figures on how many power plants for climate protection will be shut down in a first step until 2022. The entire commission wants to deal with it this Friday and discuss the draft. The working group for the paper consisted of six members of the commission, including both business and employee representatives and environmentalists. The Commission will present its final report including an end date for the last coal-fired power plant by the end of the year.
How much of the capacity of the brown and coal power plants to go from the grid, is still controversial – in the appropriate places is in the draft an X. This also applies to the assessment of how many workers are affected by the measures and what impact the measures on the value added to be in the coal regions.
The head of mining union IG BCE, Michael Vassiliadis, warned against excessive demands. „Leakage of coal-fired power in the early 2040s is realistic,“ said Vassiliadis, a member of the Commission. By 2022 and 2023, coal capacities would already be noticeably reduced, because until then, other power plants were already being shut down, both for brown coal and hard coal.