Greens are also aiming for an earlier exit from coal in the East

Greens are also aiming for an earlier exit from coal in the East

Jänschwalde lignite-fired power plant

According to a paper by the Greens, phasing out coal earlier also makes sense in terms of climate policy in eastern Germany.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin/Tutzing The Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag aims to Phasing out coal by 2030 also preferable in the east of the country. A draft resolution for the parliamentary group’s closed meeting next week states that this is a “necessary step to achieve the climate goals”.

The ARD “Hauptstadtstudio” and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported about it first. Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) described an earlier coal exit on Saturday as “completely illusory”, not least because of the loss of Russian pipeline gas in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

According to a paper by the Green Group, which meets in Weimar from Tuesday to Thursday, an earlier phase-out of coal makes sense in terms of climate policy and, in view of new developments, also provides planning and investment security for local people and regions.

>> Listen here: What will the coal phase-out in 2030 do for the climate?

The assumption that coal-fired power generation will be economical by 2038 has become obsolete. had in the coalition agreement SPD, Greens and FDP agreed to “ideally” bring the phase-out of coal forward by eight years to 2030. This was already agreed in autumn for the Rhenish mining area in the west.

The next step is to bring forward the exit from lignite in the east, said Greens co-group leader Katharina Dröge. Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) also spoke out in favor of this, but assured that this would have to be agreed by consensus. Whether the traffic light partners SPD and FDP play is open.

Haseloff thinks the Greens’ plans are “completely illusory”

In the affected federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt an earlier exit is viewed critically. It is “simply not explained how we want to achieve a self-sufficient energy supply,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Haseloff of the German Press Agency on the sidelines of a media conference in Tutzing, Bavaria, with a view to the plans of the Greens parliamentary group.

The scenario of an early exit from coal is “completely illusory” after the Russian pipeline gas, a crucial building block as a bridging technology, was eliminated, which was also the prerequisite for the original target of 2038.

The Secretary General of the Saxon CDU, Alexander Dierks, accused the Greens of ideology-driven action. An earlier exit from coal would destroy the planning security for the coal regions and endanger a successful structural change, he said on Saturday in Dresden.

As an alternative to lignite-fired power plants, the paper by the Green Group speaks of “Hydrogen-ready gas power plants”, i.e. from power plants that can initially generate electricity by burning gas, but later also from hydrogen. It is foreseeable that eastern Germany will become a region where green hydrogen is produced.

“The experience and network infrastructure can be used where lignite is still burned today. This entry secures countless jobs in the power plant sector.” But there are also doubts about that. It would be years before power plants could produce green hydrogen, said Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke the ARD capital studio.

Woidke: Guest power plants increase dependency on other countries

With regard to modern gas-fired power plants, the SPD-Politicians: “So first of all, power plants are built that will burn gas at least in the next few years,” said Woidke. That would further increase Germany’s dependency on foreign countries – “regardless of which foreign country”.

In the energy transition, great hopes are placed in hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energies. In the future, it could also be used to generate electricity. At present, however, the energy source produced from green electricity is scarce and relatively expensive.

Read more: Greater energy efficiency is the key to the energy transition

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