German lawmakers completed the long-awaited phase-out of the country away from coal as an energy source, while supporting the plan, which environmental groups believe is insufficiently ambitious, and the free market participants have criticized as a waste of taxpayers ‘ money.
Last Friday, both houses of Parliament approved the bill which provides for a stop by 2038, the last power plant fired with coal, and the allocation of about 40 billion euros to help the victims of this decision to the regions during the transition period.
This plan is part of a program for “transition to alternative energy sources” Germany attempts to wean the largest economy of Europe from fossil fuels, and provide all the basic needs of the country’s energy from renewable sources. Unlike comparable countries such as France and the UK, for Germany the achievement of this goal is hindered by the existing pledge to dismantle its nuclear energy industry by the end of 2022.
21 December 2018 was closed in Bottrop last valid in Germany, the mining of black coal. But the country continues to import fuel and to develop its own reserves of lignite – brown coal, which is quite a lot in the West and East of the country.
“The days of coal in Germany are numbered, – said the Minister of environmental protection and nuclear safety of Germany Svenja Schulze (Svenja Schulze). – Germany is the first industrialized country that leaves behind nuclear energy and coal“.
Greenpeace and other environmental groups think the plan is insufficiently radical. They claim that it will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Germany fast enough to achieve the targets established by the Paris climate agreement.
According to the national Institute Fraunhofer, funded by the government of Germany, about 55,7 % of net electricity generation that is produced this year for public supply was derived from renewable sources, including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower. Coal accounted for almost 20 %, followed by nuclear energy and natural gas (12 %).