In this press briefing, the "Coal Reader" is presented. It has been developed by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Wuppertal Institute, and Ecologic Institute. The "Coal Reader" presents options and implications of a phase-out of coal-fired power generation in Germany. It provides facts, explains the pros and cons, and shows the respective scientific background.
The "Coal Reader" wants to support the work of the German Commission for "Growth, Structural Change and Employment" (Coal Exit Commission). By the end of 2018, this Commission is to present an action plan for the phasing-out of coal-fired power generation in Germany.
Coal-fired power plants account for almost 40 percent of the electricity generated in Germany and are responsible about 80 percent of the sector's CO2 emissions. "In order to meet the goals of the climate mitigation plan adopted by the German government in 2016, a significant reduction in coal-fired power generation must and can make a decisive contribution. In the medium term a complete phase-out of coal is necessary," says Prof. Dr. Claudia Kemfert, Head of DIW Department Energy, Transportation, Environment. The climate mitigation plan sets a CO2 reduction target of 60 to 62 percent for the German energy industry by 2030 compared with 1990. "Research results suggest that the coal exit is not only necessary from the point of view of climate policy, but that it is also technically feasible and economically sensible", adds Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Fischedick, Vice-President of the Wuppertal Institute.
German coal-fired power plants are already subject to the European emissions trade system. The scheme makes CO2-intensive electricity more expensive. "However, despite the significant increase in certificate prices in 2018, the system does not provide sufficient incentives for a secure and continuous reduction, especially of lignite-fired power generation", comments Dr. Camilla Bausch, Scientific Director and CEO of Ecologic Institute.