May 16, 2021 | 9:18 PM

Trend TV

Better Informed Today

January agreed on a roadmap for the shutdown of power plants.

January agreed on a roadmap for the shutdown of power plants.

The demand that hard coal-fired power plants should not be shut down without compensation is correct, said the CDU politician in Düsseldorf. However, the individual case must be carefully considered. Greenpeace managing director Martin Kaiser, on the other hand, said: “” If the federal government wants to save its unsuccessful coal phase-out law, it has to save more CO2 instead of distributing further billions in taxes for nothing in return. Additional compensation for old coal piles would be grotesque. “” After a long struggle, the Federal Cabinet had passed a law that regulates the phase-out of brown and hard coal by 2038 at the latest.

Operators of hard coal-fired power plants should be able to apply in a tendering process until 2026 to decommission units in return for compensation. The payments are staggered according to the draft law and should decrease significantly year after year. The aim is to save as many greenhouse gas emissions as possible for as little compensation as possible, without there being supply gaps. If there are not enough applications between 2024 and 2026, power plants can also be forcibly shut down. According to the draft law, it will be switched off from 2027 on regulatory law and without compensation.

Hard coal plants are to receive an order for legal reduction in the order of their age – with the “” legal consequence “” of the prohibition of coal combustion. For operators of lignite power plants there should be billions in compensation for the early shutdown of power plants – compulsory shutdowns are not planned in contrast to hard coal. The head of the mining union IG BCE, Michael Vassiliadis, told the German press agency: “” With the coal exit law, which is essentially balanced there are logical imbalances in the treatment of hard coal and lignite. We have to keep sufficient hard coal capacities available in the event that the expansion of renewables proceeds at the same snail’s pace as before. “” That is why more is needed than just the one previously planned closure auction in the mid-2020s. “” The best way to balance the CO2 reduction and electricity demand is with several auctions. “” Source:, mra / dpa “The key point of the criticism: The coal phase-out plan agreed between the federal and state governments harms the climate and costs a lot of money. (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) It took the federal and state governments more than a year to agree on a timetable for the coal phase-out, which, however, is damaging to the climate and costs a lot of money, criticize members of the coal commission.

Last week, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier called the German government’s agreement to phase out lignite a “” historic breakthrough. And Finance Minister Olaf Scholz found no less grandiose words: “” Germany is about to leave the fossil fuel age. “” But while representatives from the federal and state governments pat each other happily on the back, displeasure from the ranks of the coal commission is loud. From the point of view of eight of the 28 commission members, the plan for the coal phase-out breaks the compromise that was laboriously negotiated about a year ago. At a press conference in Berlin, you sharply criticize the decisions and call on the government to return to the agreed path. “Here a social peace that had been agreed upon is being gambled away”, says the then chairman of the coal commission, Barbara Praetorius. The carefully balanced agreement between business, politics, climate protectionists and scientists was “” terminated at crucial points “”.

The main point of the sharp criticism: the exit plan agreed between the federal and state governments harm the climate and cost a lot of money. In addition, it is unreasonable from an energy point of view. “” I feel that the Federal Chancellor, the country representatives and also the co-negotiators have simply cheated “”, says Kai Niebert from the German Nature Conservation Association and explains: “” The shutdown plan is insane on energy policy and nonsense on climate policy “” With its coal timetable, the federal government is paying the “” same price for less climate protection, “” he says, referring to the billions in payments to companies. The competing interests of employees, coal companies and affected regions have all been redeemed, but not in terms of climate protection.

With the plan now presented, all efforts to pacify the issue as a whole are “” off the table. Niebert accuses the Federal Government of having “” fed the agreement “” to the East German Prime Minister. In the Commission’s final report, a “” substantial intermediate step in emissions reduction “” of ten million tons of CO2 was planned for 2025. With the current plan by the federal, state and corporate governments, only a quarter of the agreed target would be achieved. In addition, the shutdown of a coal-fired power plant this year would only be a “” first homeopathic step “”, says Niebert. Then almost nothing happens by the end of the decade, until there are finally very far-reaching power plant shutdowns in 2028 and 2029 in order to meet the CO2 target for 2030. “” That leads to more emissions at the end of the day, “adds Felix Christian Matthes from the Öko-Institut.

These “” waterfall shutdowns “” – the shutdown of several power plants at the same time – are also completely unreasonable in terms of energy policy, according to the energy expert. The shutdown of the coal-fired power plants was planned too late and not evenly over the period. Compared to the decommissioning path recommended by the Commission, the lignite power plants alone would emit around 40 million tonnes of additional CO2 by 2030. The “island solution” for the Hambach Forest also triggers outrage.

Instead of achieving its preservation by stopping the opencast mine in good time, RWE plans to continue mining coal around the forest. This not only threatens the forest, but also leads to the destruction of the surrounding villages, says Antje Grothus, representative of the people in the Rhineland affected by lignite mining. ““ People’s homes are non-negotiable. ”“ Another particular criticism is the controversial government decision to connect the Datteln 4 power plant to the grid. That was “” a completely wrong signal “” and a further deviation from the agreements with the coal commission, says the former commission chairman Praetorius. An agreement in the coal commission was only reached because the commissioning of new, high-emission power plants should be excluded. On January 15, the federal government and countries with lignite production agreed on a timetable for the shutdown of power plants.

Accordingly, the first power plant block should be taken off the grid at the end of 2020, but large plants only in the coming decade. The lignite suppliers are to receive compensation of 2.6 billion euros in the west and 1.75 billion euros in the east. After the violent criticism of the timetable, the SPD is now demanding that the federal government and the coal commission sit down again. “” The social consensus worked out in the commission is very valuable, “said parliamentary group vice-president Matthias Miersch. “If several members of the commission now see the consensus at risk, then it has to be openly discussed.” “Meanwhile, Minister of Economic Affairs Altmaier is defending the course of the German government. At the “” Handelsblatt “” energy summit, he referred to the importance of security of supply and affordable electricity prices: The energy transition was an “” open-heart operation in the economy “”.

The social compatibility of the energy transition is one of the biggest issues of all. “” We cannot increase electricity prices endlessly “”, said Altmaier. Source:, with dpa “About 20 people occupied the power plant in Berlin-Moabit. (Photo: dpa) Climate activists occupied coal-fired power plants in two cities. In Berlin -Moabit about 20 people invade a Vattenfall site and climb the towers, in Mannheim there are far fewer. Climate activists occupied two power plants in Berlin and Mannheim early on Saturday morning to demonstrate for a faster coal phase-out. In Berlin-Moabit Several people were on the towers of the power plant, as a dpa reporter reported.

They had a banner with the inscription “” Who clears us is for coal! “” Unrolled. Around 20 people entered the area, said a police spokesman. With their action, the activists are calling, among other things, “” an end to fossil capitalism “”, as the action group “Direct Action Berlin” announced. In the Moabit thermal power station, built in 1900, hard coal and, since 2013, biomass have been burned. The operator of the power plant on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer is the Swedish energy company Vattenfall. In Mannheim, five to six people gained access to the site of the hard coal-fired power plant.

According to the police, the activists climbed onto the roof of a coal mine. The conveyor belt of the power plant block had been stopped. Activists had repeatedly criticized the operation of the kiln and described the large power plant as a “climate killer”. A year ago, around 100 people had entered the power plant’s area.

At that time they blocked the driveway and a conveyor belt. The operators of the power plant in Mannheim are the three energy groups RWE (Essen), EnBW (Karlsruhe) and MVV (Mannheim). In 2015, the 1.2 billion block 9 went online. It has an output of almost 2150 megawatts. Source:, mli / dpa “This is not the first time that the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus is in the sights of demonstrators. (Photo: AP) By 2038, all coal-fired power plants in Germany should be off the grid Too late, say the environmentalists from Greenpeace.

In a protest they hijack the roof of the CDU party headquarters – and cover the facade with black scarves. Greenpeace activists climbed onto the roof of the CDU party headquarters in Berlin during a protest against the federal government’s planned coal phase-out law. “” You have to listen to us here, “commented a spokeswoman in a video that Greenpeace shared on Twitter. Demonstrators could be seen unrolling a banner on the roof of the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus. In addition, the activists covered the building with black cloths. The activists accused Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and his party of not listening to scientists and the coal commission.

The planned coal phase-out law of the federal government is a “” farce “”, commented the Greenpeace spokeswoman. “” All of our money is to be used to pay for the damage caused by the coal industry. “” The police confirmed an operation. Germany is to gradually phase out climate-damaging coal-fired power generation by 2038. The draft of the Coal Phase-Out Act provides a specific timetable for the early shutdown of coal-fired power plants. Central laws on the coal phase-out are to be passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat on Friday and thus before the parliamentary summer break. Source:, mdi / dpa “Despite the decision to phase out coal, the new Datteln 4 power plant will go online. (Photo: dpa) It took longer than planned, but now the coal phase-out law is in place – at least as a draft that was passed by the federal cabinet in Berlin. Now it is the turn of the Bundestag.

Everything should be dry by the middle of the year, so that the bill on aid to the coal regions can come into force. Basically, it is now clear how the coal phase-out for climate protection in Germany should work by 2038. An overview of the most important points – and the question mark remains: There are no longer any hard coal mines in Germany, and there are still power plants. Their operators can apply to switch off in exchange for compensation. Those who go off the grid early can get more – this year a maximum of 165,000 euros per megawatt, then less each year and in 2026 only 49,000 euros.

The aim is to save as many greenhouse gases as possible for as little compensation as possible. The supply of electricity and heat must remain secure. Anyone who voluntarily converts a power plant with heat production from coal to gas can receive a coal replacement bonus. From 2027 onwards, it will be switched off via regulatory law and without compensation. Lignite power plants also include opencast mines, which is why tenders such as those for hard coal would be too complicated.

Instead, there is a fixed shutdown path from 2020 to 2038. It starts in North Rhine-Westphalia, Eastern Germany will be later. Operators such as RWE and the Czech operator EPH, which owns Leag and Mibrag, will receive a total of 4.35 billion euros for this. Climate protectors are dissatisfied with the shutdown plan: they think it is too late and not steady enough. There are four official reviews of how things are going with the coal phase-out – whether the electricity supply is secure, how the price of electricity is developing and what is going on with climate protection. This will happen for the first time in 2022, then in 2026, 2029 and 2032.

From 2026 onwards, it will also be checked whether the coal phase-out can be brought forward by three years – i.e. whether it will end in 2035 instead of 2038. Help for older coal miners If you are 58 years or older and lose your job in the lignite or hard coal sector due to the coal phase-out, can apply for an adjustment allowance for a maximum of five years until retirement. Reductions in pensions are also offset. The federal government expects this to cost a maximum of 4.81 billion euros between 2020 and 2043.

The law regulates that certificates that become free due to the national phase-out of coal can be deleted. Otherwise the greenhouse gases would simply be emitted in power plants in other countries. More details will be regulated over time, because the calculation is complicated and there is already a mechanism that skims off superfluous certificates. Relief for electricity consumers From 2023, the federal government can reduce network charges for transmission networks with a subsidy – this should enable the smaller distribution networks, for their part To relieve customers. In addition, there is the possibility of relieving companies with high electricity requirements so that they can keep up with international competition when electricity prices rise. The climate package also provides for a reduction in the EEG levy that citizens pay through their electricity bills. It is not yet clear how electricity prices will develop.

It sounds illogical that the coal phase-out begins and a new hard coal power plant goes online almost at the same time – but Datteln 4 has been built and approved, it would have been very expensive to buy out operator Uniper.