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Germany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years

Germany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years

On the other hand, Poland is embracing coal energy.

Germany has officially revealed plans to shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years in its quest against climate change.

The announcement marked a significant shift for Europe’s largest country — a nation that had long been a leader on cutting CO2 emissions before turning into a laggard in recent years and badly missing its reduction targets. Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity, itself a reduction from recent years when coal dominated power production.

“This is an historic accomplishment,” said Ronald Pofalla, chairman of the 28-member government commission, at a news conference in Berlin following a marathon 21-hour negotiating session that concluded at 6 a.m. Saturday. The breakthrough ended seven months of wrangling. “It was anything but a sure thing. But we did it,” Pofalla said. “There won’t be any more coal-burning plants in Germany by 2038.”

The plan includes some $45 billion in spending to mitigate the pain in coal regions. The commission’s recommendations are expected to be adopted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Of course, green justice warriors are still unhappy with this plan.

The reduction in coal will have to be compensated by an increase in renewable power sources and — at least in the interim — from burning more natural gas, which emits about half the amount of greenhouse gases as coal.

Greenpeace, which wants all coal plants shut down by 2030, welcomed that “Germany finally has a timetable how the country can become coal-free” but said the measures were not ambitious and fast enough.

“The speed is wrong,” said Martin Kaiser, the head of Greenpeace. “Exiting coal by the year 2038 only is inacceptable.”

This may be very good news for the United States. Why? Because Germany will be relying more on natural gas, and our nation has substantially increased production of this particular resource.

On the other hand, given the potential for economic catastrophe and its impact on Europe, it could also be a major headache. It will be interesting to see where Germany is, in terms of fiscal health, in comparison to Poland, which has made the decision to rely on coal as its main energy source.

Around 80% of Poland’s electricity is generated using coal, and the country relies heavily on the fuel for heating. At Bloomberg’s NEF Future of Energy Summit in October, Polish politician Piotr Naimski explained that the country would not be turning its back on coal, and instead planned to continue mining and burning the controversial fossil fuel.

Poland has begun to adopt renewables, but slowly. Wind turbines are being built in the Baltic Sea, but there is effectively no solar power and little hydro. This is despite the cost of renewables plummeting around the world, and technologies becoming increasingly efficient and reliable.

As a member of the European Union (EU), Poland has decarbonisation goals to meet, so what’s holding the country back from embracing renewable energy sources and moving away from coal?

I would be happy to wager any of these people that Poland will be in better economic shape in 20 years and likely at the head of a new European alliance.


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With the giant strides being made in Catalyst design, captured CO2 will soon be made into liquid fuel. But, Germany will still shiver in the dark.

Just to be clear: Germany is phasing out coal. According to Wikipedia: “following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Germany has permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and pledged to close the rest by the end of 2022.”

So while it’s a win for natural gas (particularly from USA), how does Germany expect to compete against other nations?

    TX-rifraph in reply to cindelicato. | January 28, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Other nations? Isn’t the plan to have only ONE nation? One global nation?

    Failing that globalist plan, Poland will be selling a lot of electric power to Germany in the near future.

    First they came for the nuclear plants and I said nothing…

    All off this is utterly dependent on other countries selling Germany the electricity they need when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. There are already report of the instability that Germany is creating in other countries electrical grids because of the fickle supply/deficit/oversupply of renewable-sourced energy.

    In Australia, just a few days ago, one states’ inability to supply enough renewables-sourced power led to blackouts in another state’s power on one of the hottest days in years (it being summer there). There was so much power being dragged off the shared grid that areas in the second state had to be de-powered to avoid catastrophic failure of the whole grid. This second state is not innocent though, and intends to soon have as much reliance on renewables as the first state.

      RasMoyag in reply to B__2. | January 29, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Exactly…! Newflash, newsflash: Germany to buy Polish power generated from coal in a move that will save the world. You can’t write it with more irony.

At 70, I am very unlikely to see how this plays out. That may be a good thing, as many wars are fought over resources.

Mr. Sulu Warp speed Back to the Dark Ages.

I’m certain that with the closure of the coal power plants, the climate in Germany is definitely going to change.

I prefer the nuclear option, like France has embraced, but I’m silly that way

Apparently, this is one of the few times Germany doesn’t covet what the French possess.

As for this: “Greenpeace, which wants all coal plants shut down by 2030, welcomed that “Germany finally has a timetable how the country can become coal-free” but said the measures were not ambitious and fast enough.”

Greenpeace is a terrorist organization, so sthu. They’re also eco-hypocrits, so sthu.

The complainers fail to notice that the U.S. is indeed closing coal-fired generating plants; only we’re using market forces and not a government diktat to do so. NG-fired generating plants are much cheaper to operate these days, so American utilities are switching to NG and closing coal-fired plants. That requires that NG continues to plentiful and cheap, something that the progressive Left is trying to ruin. But one could fairly ask if the U.S. will stop the use of coal for electricity generation before Germany, and do so for the simplest reason — we can do better with NG, nuclear and other sources. That would really twist the knickers of the Left.

Meanwhile, we are in a Solar Minimum and sunspots are few and far between, signalling a potential return to a “mini-ice” age. Additionally, we have learned recently that deep ocean temperatures are actually DECREASING. I don’t think the climaxologists understand heat sinks, probably because they don’t understand nor how to spell physics.

Pay no attention to that golden orb in the sky, it is only a lightbulb.

casualobserver | January 28, 2019 at 10:08 am

Any electricity cost prediction by the “authories” and their plan likely crafted and detailed by “experts”? In the last few years already Belgium and Germany have been the most expensive, at about 2X of the cost on average in the U.S. If the bulk of the coal capacity is converted to NG it may have a marginal impact. The country is already nearing its saturation for renewables capacity.

These globalists do not care about the environment or climate or anything except for power for themselves.

A clean environment costs money. East Germany was a pollution nightmare that cost the people of West Germany a lot of money to clean up after the reunification. Money for the clean environment only comes from a healthy economy.

Poland will become the enemy of Germany…again.

Germany better hope that natural gas stays cheap. Without a concurrent nuclear build-out, this is suicide.

    they have a deal with Putin, so they better hope Putin stays healthy and FRIENDLY too. About 39% of Germany’s NatGas is supplied by Russian pipeline. And back around 2014 Russians were buying Germany’s natgas producing, natgas storage and distributing (pipeline) and oil production companies. Back then the example of Ukraine and Russian cutoff of gas had Germans worried about depending on Russian natgas. Looks like their worries are over (or forgotten).

This is far from West Germany in the early 60s when many (most?) homes were heated by coal stoves, pretty much all (all?) electricity was generated by coal fired plants and many (all I saw) trains had steam locomotives fired by coal.

Connivin Caniff | January 28, 2019 at 10:46 am

We shouldn’t burn coal anyway. We should save those hydrocarbons for better uses.

    So, what should we do? Burn trees? We have more trees since the 18th century because we burn coal instead of trees.

    I am so glad I am a hunter. I’ve hunted across the world. And Africans are not stupid. In fact, Africans I’ve hunted with have made me feel stupid. But they were too nice and polite to rub it let on that I was an idiot. When it came to hunting, I was good at only one thing.

    Africans aren’t stupid. They aren’t signing on to the global warming garbage because they’ve looked at the same studies and reports that I have. The supposed sustainable options, ain’t. They’re fiction. And the Africans say, screw that, we’re going with coal. The rest of the world may romanticize about living in the 11th century but they’ve lived the reality. They’ve choked on charcoal smoke that was the only fuel for cooking and heating (and yes in winter in southern Africa or at night this is a concern) and they’re tired of it. The last people they are going to listen to are the same white leftists who say they must sacrifice their children to same Moloch that we have demanded they give up to the DDT ban.

Europe continues to slowly commit suicide by adhering to political correctness.

Amazingly stupid.

Why wait? Close them immediately. I’m sure the German citizens will understand the need for them to sacrifice to save the planet. They’ll still have electricity… for government operations.

Not to worry. “Nineteen years” is political code-speak for “never”. A slightly less ambitious version of a 99-year lease.

poland…good energy policy.
germany bad policy.
wanna guess what happens next?

The way I read this article, Germany has just condemned a large portion of its populace to freeze to death in out houses.

JusticeDelivered | January 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Germans breeder reactor, Muslims.

America would be in an even better place to close its coal plants if we took nuclear power seriously. Solar and wind cannot replace coal. Sorry. But if nuclear was not completely kneecapped by government regulations, it could easier provide a cheap, safe, and CARBON FREE replacement for goal.

If memory serves me, Poland has vast coal deposits for mining. With the improvements in technology, coal plants will be as clean as gas fired ones, making Poland masters of their own destiny, free of the rest of Europe (if they’re smart to leave the EU orbit).

Can’t wait for German industry to build more plants in the US when Germany tips the balance over to “renewables”–car making needs a reliable and plentiful grid to survive.

19 years is a whole new generation of politicians and voters. What they actually do will be far different.

In Germany’s race for sociopolitical progress, it has ostensibly missed technical development in hydrocarbon-based energy, thus favoring the non-renewable, unsustainable, unreliable Green blight technologies.

‘Germany proudly signs economic suicide pact.’

The series “Germany’s Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good” in Der Spiegel is a few years old now, but it does still show how Germany wound up on this path and at least a look at the costs of doing so.

One of the links in making this politically palatable is the social welfare state: electricity becomes too expensive for many, solution is not policies to reduce the price but demands for subsidies to those priced out of the market.

Sort of like LIHEAP in the USA, but on a larger scale. And, yes, Germany’s insurance policy against electric-grid instability brought on by reliance on intermittent energy sources is France’s nuclear capacity.

Germany is embracing both Russia and Iran.
There will be a price to be paid.

DouglasJBender | January 29, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Germany eventually unable to provide its own energy needs, and its people freezing in the Winter? Nothing a third World War couldn’t fix.