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Waiting for draft law: economy criticizes government course on coal phase-out

2019-12-14T08:25:25.616Z

ZEIT ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Berlin (dpa) - The economy has sharply criticized the course of the federal government in the coal phase-out. The chief executive of the energy association BDEW, Kerstin Andreae, sees the consensus in the coal commission in danger.

The economy would be put in the way again and again - in the coal phase-out, the expansion of wind energy and combined heat and power, said Andreae of the German Press Agency. She warned of a statutory shutdown of coal-fired power plants without compensation. Industry President Dieter Kempf told the dpa that the federal and state governments would now have to force themselves to cast the Commission's report into legal form this year.

The industrial association BDI and the BDEW were members of the government's commission "Growth, Structural Change and Employment". At the end of January, the latter submitted a concept for a gradual phase-out by 2038 in a broad consensus. The federal government had agreed to implement the recommendations one-to-one.

The coalition is still arguing over a joint bill to phase out coal. It is questionable whether the cabinet will decide on this later this year. The exit law deals with a concrete timetable, under which conditions, by when and where which coal-fired power plants should be decommissioned. Negotiations are ongoing with operators of lignite-fired power plants about compensation.

BDI President Kempf said that the basic condition for the broad social consensus in the Commission was that the recommendations be fully implemented. "A central point for Germany as an industrial location is the limitation of the increase in electricity prices for private and commercial consumers caused by the early phaseout of coal."

Another important point is “checkpoints” - to check at regular intervals what the shutdown of coal-fired power plants and the shutdown of nuclear power plants actually do in combination, for example in terms of security of supply.

Politicians should not be afraid to implement a compromise that a commission with a broad majority in society had drawn up - even if this decision meant high financial expenditure. "At the same time, the federal government is raising its climate targets ever further - Germany should become climate neutral by 2050," says Kempf. "The gap between desire and reality in the federal government's climate policy must finally be closed."

Andreae said no other industry supports the climate goals as unconditionally as the energy industry. "We are already further ahead in reducing CO2 emissions for our industry than we would have to, according to the goals of the German government." Mainstay: If coal-fired power plants are shut down, gas power plants must be strengthened as a transition technology for security of supply. »

For this, the so-called coal replacement bonus for converting CHP systems from coal to gas firing is necessary. "Companies need legal and planning security for future investments," emphasized Andreae. In the case of cogeneration, the generation of electricity and heat are linked in one system.

The coal commission's report was a very clear agreement with a social consensus. "One should not underestimate what it means if there is a social consensus: The will to change is there - this opportunity must be seized now."

Source: zeit

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