MIRROR: Mr Pofalla, the so-called coal Commission has found a compromise – but how expensive it really is, is not yet clear. The taxpayer will include, for example, compensation for the power plants to pay the by 2030. How much will that be?

Pofalla: , Perhaps less, than most people think. A certain amount of gigawatts is long for the market of the underlying power plants outlet been logged. The price of CO2 can develop up to 2030 so that a single coal-fired power plants can no longer be operated economically. This is due to the fact that the prices of emission certificates rise, the need to acquire the operator for the combustion of coal and the release of greenhouse gases. These developments can be seen to the specified review points in the years 2023, 2026 and 2029, respectively.

MIRROR: This will not be enough.

Pofalla: If we have to close in addition, other power plants, has to be provided, the Commission recommended that a special tender model. Power plant operator could make deals, which plant do you want to close to what sum by way of compensation. The cheapest offer came along then.

MIRROR: And in order for Germany to reach its climate targets for 2030?

Pofalla: The amounts of coal power, on which we have agreed in the structural transformation Commission, are sufficient to achieve the savings targets of the energy sector. But this also means that the other sectors, such as transport, need to make their own contribution. This is the task to a Commission.

MIRROR: The situation was complicated, as they took in the past year, their work in the coal Commission. The environmental groups wanted to close the last coal-fired power plant in the year 2030, but prefer earlier. The energy companies until 2040, but rather later.

Pofalla: It was still a bit tricky. Individual länder wanted to later, so until 2045, and then to stop, brown coal-fired generation omen. It took me months to make this corridor gradually becoming closer and closer.

MIRROR: , such As the positions were still away from each other, as they went on a Friday night in the crucial hours of Negotiation?

Pofalla: Because the margin was still big. It was between 2030 and at the beginning of the forty years. But it was obvious to all that everyone needs to move.

MIRROR: It would have been for all Involved is a disgrace to allow a compromise to burst.

Pofalla: In fact, it would have been hardly convey to because of the expectation that the Commission’s result was high. At the end we managed to do something not many thought possible, to achieve a consensus about one of the most important questions of our time: How we want to preserve our planet for the generations that will come after? This is not only a historical feat, but also a Signal against the defenders of vested interests and populism of any kind.

MIRROR: , There were three interest groups: the environmental organisations, the economy and the affected länder.

Pofalla: The points in dispute were a bit more complicated, as it was discussed in Public. In truth, the interests of a lot more points apart, and often on the cross.

MIRROR: The energy companies had publicly warned, when the power plants close, the Economy in Germany in front of the dogs. The only empty threats?

More on the concept of the government Commission on the consequences of the Coal phase-out

Pofalla: We have taken care in direct talks for the energy companies locking the first power plant would support up to the year 2022. Now, it is the responsibility of the Federal government to put together with the operators contractual packages that are realistic and balancing different interests.

MIRROR: do not put the power plant operators in these negotiations is now doing everything it can to drag the government over to the table and to demand exorbitant sums in compensation – at the expense of the taxpayers?

Pofalla: The risk I see. Take the period up to the end of the year 2022. Since we’re talking a total of about but not very many power plants. More than half of the performance, to be taken up there out of the market, comes from power plants that have been logged by the operators already on the closure. It will of course be no compensation.

MIRROR: And for the Rest?

Pofalla: Since we are talking in particular about a capacity of nearly three gigawatts of brown coal, which go beyond what is not take out of the market anyway. It is for these negotiations to an orientation value for a reasonable price. The Federal government has formed a few years ago, a so-called safety reserve, and a number of coal-fired power plants herein transferred. They were taken from the network, will be available for emergency use.

MIRROR: at the Time, the price was just under 600,000 euros per Megawatt, which was shut down. That would add up at the power plant performance, they talk about up to the year 2022, to just under two billion euros. This is the order of magnitude?

Pofalla: Let’s not speculate. The Federal government must join with the energy suppliers are now in talks. I can’t prejudge.

MIRROR: As much the symbol politics behind the compromise? Behind these two or three gigawatts of power, which should disappear by 2022, there could be Yes – perhaps not coincidentally – exactly the power plant blocks hide, which are fed by the brown coal mine in the hambach forest. Thus, the forest would be saved, and the environmental organizations would have a point.

PDF Download final report of the Commission on “growth, structural change and employment”PDF size: 5 MB

Pofalla: We have written to the Commission’s text that the preservation of the hambach forest is desirable. It was the environmental groups is very important. The Commission has, however, deliberately for no power plant specific recommendations. The remains of the negotiations, the Federal government is reserved.

MIRROR: critics accuse them of, they could not escape from nuclear power and coal power at the same time. We need to have a fear of Blackouts?

Pofalla: Very clearly, no. The Federal network Agency was involved in the Commission’s work. The closure of a power plant can be prohibited, if this causes hazards for the power supply. I think it is thus excluded that power plants are taken out of the market, the network are relevant. We have set ourselves in the Other, to check in three-year intervals, the state of the Coal phase-out and to clarify such questions.

MIRROR: Gets the citizens to the payment of his electricity bill, the receipt for the Coal phase-out?

Pofalla: The Commission has argued explicitly for a balance of private households and businesses to relieve them of a possible electricity price increase. An additional levy, or a levy on the electricity price is not planned in accordance with our recommendations.

MIRROR: just before Christmas it looked as if the three Minister-presidents of the brown coal regions of the East could still have all burst as they have complained to the Chancellor about the work of the Commission. You have underestimated the sensibilities of the East?

Pofalla: I can understand that there has been Fears. We also have been sure about the months before a crucial test. This was because the countries wanted to clear off later, and has even played in the last night of the Negotiations, a role. But all have realized at the end that we are targets of the climate and the necessary structure of compensation can bring. A Tear of the climate targets would have been quite bad for Germany alike. People have expected of us that we come to a result. Ultimately, this has led to the willingness to compromise in the Commission. But it was in the negotiations to the extent that was expected of us Chairman of high performance sport.

MIRROR: are you Afraid now is not the campaign of the AfD, which will make the people in the Lausitz region fear the decline of their Region?

Pofalla: We will give the coal regions, through very concrete proposals with a clear perspective. Therefore, the policy must not lose any time and must ensure, that in the autumn of concrete projects in the Gazette through a set of actions act. Only new jobs are to be created, then, power plants go from the network. The Chance to build trust with the people in the East. Especially in this point, the policy will be measured by your Actions.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.