The last coal-fired power plant in Germany is to go 2038 from the network in the affected regions and citizens to compensate for billions in aid. After months of consultations, agreed by the Federal government used coal Commission on Saturday on an exit plan now to be in the form of legislation poured.

“This has been a historic feat,” said Ronald Pofalla (CDU), one of the four co-chairs of the Commission. He hoped that the compromise to pacify the social conflict contributes to the generation of electricity from coal. Environmentalists complained the late end date, praised the beginning of the end.

And the government itself?

economy Minister Peter Altmaier announced in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”, the Federal government will consider the Commission’s proposals “carefully and constructively”. The power supply he doesn’t see the compromise in danger. “Security of supply is guaranteed.” The CDU-politician added: “the climate protection targets of the Federal government for the year 2030 can be achieved.”

the Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz welcomed the agreement of the coal Commission. “It’s definitely good news that the Commission has made to the structural change agreement,” said the SPD politician of the newspaper: “We are the power supply of the industrial nation of Germany from scratch.”

SPD Leader Andrea Nahles, who had warned of a “blood sliding tackle against brown coal”, said: “The exit is the Foundation for a successful path to the Coal.”

Almost only renewable energy

brown coal is considered to be climate most harmful energy sources, but tens of thousands of jobs depend on it in the Rhineland, and East Germany. By the end of 2022 planned nuclear Germany will exit then, by 2038, the first of the industrial countries in the world in addition to natural gas almost completely on renewable energies.

In the Commission wrestled climate change activists, trade unionists, business representatives and scientists solutions – at the end of the 28 members voted 27 in favour of it. According to dpa-information only, the CDU-politician, Hannelore Wodtke with no, which had been used for the preservation of the villages on the edge of the opencast mines, agreed.

Green party leader Anna Lena Baerbock praised, it at least managed to take the first step. “Just the beginning of the end, and the preservation of the hambach forest are negotiating successes of the environmental representative in the Commission,” she said, with a view to the environmentalists vehemently against a clearing defended area of forest in the Rhenish brown coal district. In the final report, the Commission consider that to be “desirable”. The company RWE has assessed this request is critical.

According to the Commission’s approach to private households and the economy in 2023, out of a possible rise in electricity prices relieved, which might have cost two billion euros per year. Further subsidies to the energy-intensive industries, as well as support for a Coal miner, retiring early from the Job and those who are in need of a new Job.

The coal countries of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony to get from the Federal government for over 20 years, a total of 40 billion euros of aid for the structural change, the transport of the coal regions via an additional program is to be improved.

“For Greenpeace unacceptable,”

environmental groups would have preferred an earlier end date for the climate – damaging production of Electricity from lignite and coal, in addition, more specific intermediate goals. “In the year 2038 from the coal out, is for Greenpeace’s unacceptable,” said managing Director Martin Kaiser. This has made the Association in a special vote is clear. After all: “After years in the climate of political coma Germany is moving, at least.”

The affected Federal States – if the policy of the Commission – a legal basis for the Federal assistance via the state contract. Especially Scholz is now in demand. On Thursday evening the Prime Minister will want to consult with him and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). Conceivable increased settlement of Federal agencies and research institutions in the coal regions.

Around a third of the electricity today comes from coal-fired power plants. You are already taken from the net, but the goals for climate protection make a faster exit is necessary.

The energy industry praised the compromise offer planning security for the companies. The property rights of the company were maintained, the industry Association BDEW. The aims of the scheme, power plant operators compensation might get for the purpose of decommissioning – the costs could run into the billions.

the workers were in the circumstances satisfied. “None of the employees falls on the knee,” said the head of the mining Union IG BCE, Michael Vassiliadis. There should be an “Adaptation allowance” for Employees aged 58 and over, the need to bridge the time until retirement, as well as a balance of pension loss. Estimated cost: up to five billion euros.


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.