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Germany will close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants

Will rely primarily on renewable energy- Editor

An article by Erik Kirschbaum in the LA Times on 26 Jan 2019 [1] reported a German government commission statement that Germany, currently one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change. Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity, itself a reduction from recent years when coal dominated power production.

The plan includes $(US)45 billion in federal spending to re-employ redundant coal workers and mitigate the pain in coal regions, and the commission’s recommendations will almost certainly be adopted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

This decision follows an earlier policy move by the government to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2022 in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011. At the time of that decision, the move was harshly criticized as reckless by business leaders, who worried that it would raise electricity prices and make their industries less competitive against foreign rivals. They also pointed out the apparent futility of the move because no other major industrial country followed Germany’s nuclear exit. Twelve of the country’s 19 nuclear plants have been shuttered so far.

The plan to eliminate coal and nuclear plants means that Germany will be counting on renewable energy to provide 65% to 80% of the country’s power by 2040. Renewables currently account for 41% of its electricity.


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