Climate Protection

Phasing out coal in a socially acceptable way is crucial to make the Energiewende a success and to meet the 2020 and 2030 goals on climate protection

In 2014, more than a quarter of German electricity production was based on Renewable Energies (RES). At the same time the German electricity system emits still more CO2 than in recent years. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions increased in 2012 and 2013 – driven by low ETS carbon prices and low cost of electricity generation from lignite.

The effect follows simple economic principles: Electricity production based on hard coal and particularly on lignite is characterized by significantly lower marginal costs than gas-based electricity. The situation exacerbated in recent years because of sinking costs for hard coal on the world market and a permanently low CO2-certificate-price. Additionally, steadily sinking wholesale power prices led to increasing electricity exports from Germany and consequently in higher CO2-emissions on the German climate account.

However, if Germany is to meet its reduction target of -40% greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 versus 1990 levels, a strategy towards a stepwise decrease of generation using lignite and hard coal is indispensable. More and more stakeholders in the climate debate do no longer believe that emission targets can be achieved under the EU-Emission Trading System (ETS) alone. They are pledging for additional instruments, in particular to reduce CO2 emissions from lignite and hard coal fired power plants.

The long-term perspective is even more challenging: Under the EU 2030 target of at least -40% reduction, this requires Germany to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 55% by 2030 – implying a massive fuel switch from coal to gas and RES.

Agora’s role to address the so called “Energiewendeparadox” can be to help negotiate a public consensus on how to phase out coal in a socially acceptable way.

Contact

Jesse Scott

Jesse Scott

Director International Programme (until September 2022)

    Partner

    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild
    Bild

    Core results

    1. 1

      Coal exit reverse auctions are not a universal solution applicable in all markets.

      This analysis identifies the primary drivers that make reverse auctions suitable to facilitate coal phase-out in Germany and reviews what other jurisdictions should consider when preparing a coal phase-out implementation policy.

    2. 2

      Successful implementation of a coal-exit reverse auction depends on three key factors.

      1. State readiness

      Security of electricity supply is well-planned, and the state has sufficient financial resources to fund compensation for early decommissioning.

      2. Local context

      The existence of laws for the protection of businesses against expropriation and the fact of political support for coal together make a reverse auction a pragmatic legal solution supported by government, civil society, and industry.

      3. Auction design

      Creating complementarity between pull and push measures – auction (“carrots”) and forced closure (“sticks”) – incentivises most power plant operators to seek decommissioning.

    3. 3

      The right policy mix can increase the likelihood of successful auctions.

      Germany has implemented several additional policies, adjacent to the reverse auctions, including renewable buildout and carbon pricing, that have helped to accelerate the phase-out of coal.

    From study : Coal Phase-Out in Germany
    1. 1

      Regaining Europe’s energy sovereignty requires the frontloading of investment in energy efficiency and the more rapid deployment of wind and solar PV.

      Speeding up the reduction in fossil gas consumption with investment in buildings and industrial plants, as well as in district heating, renewables and power grid expansion, will add €40 billion per year to the EU-wide public green spending needs in 2022–2027.

    2. 2

      European solidarity calls for enabling all EU countries, including those with limited fiscal capacity, to deliver the RePowerEU Plan – which will require additional EU funding of €100 billion (€80 billion in grants, €20 billion in loans).

      Using the existing Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for this purpose would make funds available in the 2022-2027 timeframe and allow – together with the unused RRF loans – to scale up investment quickly.

    3. 3

      Member States should review current spending plans for EU funds and minimise grant support while maximising the use of alternative financing support instruments.

      However, the current EU budget (2021–2027) only allows for marginal adjustments and does not offer sufficient funding for all types of investment needed to deliver the RePowerEU plan.

    4. 4

      The top-up to the Recovery and Resilience Facility can be financed with revenues from other climate instruments.

      One plausible option for financing the additional debt service of €2.9 billion per year in 2028–2058 is to use a share of revenues from carbon pricing, including the proposed ETS for transport and buildings.

    From study : Delivering RePowerEU
    1. 1

      The current energy crisis makes it imperative to reduce the EU’s dependency on fossil fuels and imported raw materials.

      Industrial production of virgin plastics, steel, aluminium and cement alone accounts for 13 percent of yearly energy consumption and 581 Mt of annual emissions. The EU also imports very large amounts of gas, oil and coal to produce plastics and other energy intensive materials.

    2. 2

      Enhanced recycling and greater material efficiency hold enormous untapped potential for the transition to a fossil free production of energy-intensive materials, in both the short and long run.

      With ambitious policies, annual EU industrial emissions could be reduced by up to 10 percent (70 Mt) until 2030 and by 34 percent (239 Mt) until 2050 compared to 2018 levels. Plastics production alone could avoid using fossil fuels equivalent to roughly 2.7 billion cubic metres of gas and 149 million barrels of oil annually by 2030.

    3. 3

      Realising these abatement and savings potentials must be a priority in the EU’s new Circular Economy legislation. To synchronise energy security and climate neutrality, this legislation must spur demand for high quality recycling while boosting collection and supply of high quality recyclates.

      Required policy instruments are expanded quotas for recycled content; investment aid for rapid deployment of innovative recycling technologies; as well as labelling and best practice mandates for collection, sorting, recycling and re-use.

    4. 4

      EU Member states can now implement key policy measures that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions already within the next 1 to 5 years.

      Examples are wider bans on single use and non-recyclable plastics, the implementation of deposit-refund schemes for plastic packages, investments into ex-post re-sorting and state of the art recycling practices.

    1. 1

      The current energy crisis makes it imperative to reduce the EU’s dependency on fossil fuels and imported raw materials.

      Industrial production of virgin plastics, steel, aluminium and cement alone accounts for 13 percent of yearly energy consumption and 581 Mt of annual emissions. The EU also imports very large amounts of gas, oil and coal to produce plastics and other

      energy intensive materials.

    2. 2

      Enhanced recycling and greater material efficiency hold enormous untapped potential for the transi-tion to a fossil free production of energy-intensive materials, in both the short and long run.

      With ambitious policies, annual EU industrial emissions could be reduced by up to 10 percent (70 Mt) by 2030 and by 34 percent (239 Mt) by 2050 compared to 2018 levels. Plastics production alone could avoid using fossil fuels equivalent to roughly 2.7 billion cubic metres of gas and 149 million barrels of oil annually by 2030.

    3. 3

      Realising these abatement and savings potentials must be a priority in the EU’s new Circular Economy legislation. To synchronise energy security and climate neutrality, this legislation must spur demand for high quality recycling while boosting collection and supply of high quality recyclates.

      Required policy instruments are expanded quotas for recycled content;

      investment aid for rapid deployment of innovative recycling technologies; as well as labelling and best practice mandates for collection, sorting, recycling and re-use.

    4. 4

      EU Member states can now implement key policy measures that effectively reduce green-house gas emissions already within the next 1 to 5 years.

      Examples are wider bans on single use and non-recyclable plastics, the implementation of deposit-refund schemes for plastic packages, investments into ex-post re-sorting and state of the art recycling practices.

    1. 1

      The escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine has created a fossil energy crisis and has exposed the EU’s dependency on fossil gas imports. If the EU fully mobilises all available means to reduce energy demand and switch to renewable energy, Europe can regain its energy sovereignty by 2027.

      Energy efficiency in buildings and industry as well as a fast ramp up of wind and solar PV can permanently reduce fossil gas demand by 1200 terrawatt hours in the next five years, allowing to avoid 80% of today's Russian gas imports and enabling a 100% displacement when combined with alternative supplies such as LNG.

    2. 2

      Climate protection and energy security go hand in hand, as actions to meet the EU climate targets also reduce fossil gas consumption.

      Until 2027, energy efficiency, district heating and a heat pump revolution can save 480 TWh in buildings; efficiency and electrification in low and medium temperature heat processes can provide for 223 TWh savings in industry, and a ramp up of wind & solar PV combined with more system flexibility will contribute 500 TWh in the power sector.

    3. 3

      Regaining Europe’s energy sovereignty by 2027 requires a collective European effort based on joint commitments and solidarity.

      The RePowerEU plan needs to mobilize the reductions identified in this study. Similar to the COVID recovery efforts, the plan must be embedded in a strong political framework overseen by the European Council to ensure its swift and full implementation. Helping Ukraine build back better after the war should be part of the efforts.

    4. 4

      A new EU Energy Sovereignty Fund, modelled on NextGenEU and equipped with 100 bn EUR until 2027, should be set up as part of a dedicated investment framework to deliver RePowerEU.

      The framework also needs to ensure that existing EU funds are re-purposed wherever possible and governments smartly combine price signals and protection for poor households and industry.

    1. 1

      The EU will establish a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) that will apply to power imported from neighbouring countries, including the Western Balkan region.

      The CBAM is a necessary tool for the EU to prevent carbon leakage; it is not an instrument to force trading partners to adopt similar policies.

    2. 2

      The Western Balkan countries have the EU as their main trading partner. They should prepare for its entry into force by either adopting internal carbon pricing or establishing clear pathways to enter the EU ETS.

      Export markets for goods with high carbon intensity will shrink, impacting the region far beyond the power sector. The CBAM will to some extent also reduce opportunities to export carbon free flexible power generation. There is a tight timeline concerning the numerous re-forms that must take place before 2030.

    3. 3

      Plans for new lignite power plants in the Western Balkans should be halted.

      Such projects will be loss-making in context of the CBAM. Establishing domestic carbon pricing will assist countries in gathering revenues that should be used to fund the transition to clean power systems.

    4. 4

      The EU should commit to use CBAM revenues for technical assistance and transfer of knowledge to countries developing carbon pricing.

      Specific support is needed for establishing the data and technical backbone of carbon pricing systems. In addition, the West-ern Balkan countries should use a larger share of available EU funds for supporting a just transition and socio-economic convergence with the EU.

    1. 1

      The global steel sector is at a crossroads. Before 2030, 71% of existing coal-based blast furnaces (1090 Mt) will reach the end of their lifetimes and require major reinvestments.

      Meanwhile, emerging economies with rising steel demand will require at least 170 Mt of new capacity. Meeting these needs with coal-based capacity will create long-term carbon lock-in and lead to stranded assets, endangering jobs and putting any pathway compatible with 1.5°C out of reach.

    2. 2

      The global steel transformation needs to start in the 2020s. Key low-carbon technologies are ready and can be deployed now.

      The project pipeline of green steelmaking capacity that will come online before 2030 is growing rapidly. 40 Mt of direct reduced iron (DRI) capacity is already planned and many operators have announced that they will switch to secondary steel production. Retroactive post-combustion CCS for coal-fired blast furnaces may be a dead-end road.

    3. 3

      Aligning the steel sector with a 1.5°C compatible scenario needs to put the asset transition from coal to clean at its core.

      The best strategy from now on is to avoid reinvestments into blast furnaces by prolonging life-times of old assets by 2-5 years and after 2025, invest into DRI directly. By 2030, the global steel sector would require 390 Mt of DRI capacity and 278 Mt of additional secondary steel capacity. This is feasible – and would save the atmosphere 1.3 GtCO2 per year.

    4. 4

      A single-speed global steel transformation can bring enhanced international cooperation and a level playing field.

      Steel is a globally traded commodity. The sector’s transformation will require international coop-eration. Meeting the asset transition targets would transition some 1.3 million existing jobs in the steel industry from coal-based to future-proof green jobs while creating 240,000 new green jobs in emerging economies.

    From study : Global Steel at a Crossroads
    1. 1

      The EU’s 2030 climate target of –55 percent requires a complete coal phase-out in the power system by 2030.

      A 2030 coal phase-out provides a CO₂ emission reduction potential of 1 billion tons beyond the 40 percent emissions reduction scenario at little additional cost to consumers (wholesale prices rise by 0.5 cent/kWh).

    2. 2

      Coal should be replaced by renewables.

      The required emission reduction of the power sector can only be achieved if coal is overwhelmingly replaced by solar PV and wind energy. A phase-out of the remaining 38 GW coal capacities in the six countries that do not have a 2030 phase-out date yet (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovenia) must be met with 100 GW of PV and wind.

    3. 3

      Additional gas capacities will be needed, along with an overall decrease in the rate of utilization.

      The coal phase-out may require additional deployment of 15 GW of gas plant capacity to safeguard security of supply – while gas-fired power generation needs to fall 15 percent by 2030 in the EU. To avoid stranded assets, all new fossil gas investments should be hydrogen ready.

    4. 4

      To achieve the EU wide coal phase out at least cost, a policy mix is required.

      The EU ETS should be tightened as proposed by the European Commission. Several Member States should quickly develop or accelerate their plans for national coal phase-out, potentially complemented by a national carbon floor price. Member States should rapidly scale renewables.

    1. 1

      The strong outlook for carbon pricing in the Western Balkans means that new lignite plants will be loss making.

      2  GW of new lignite capacity is currently planned in the region. If built, these plants will generate a cumulative loss by 2040. This is because of low efficiency of lignite mining, costs to comply with air pollution regulation and limited export opportunities after establishment of the EU  Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). A phase-in of carbon pricing in Energy Community countries would further increase losses.

    2. 2

      From an economic perspective, existing lignite units in the region should be closed by 2040.

      A 2040 lignite exit increases system costs by 3–4 €/MWh in an unlikely scenario without carbon pricing. With the EU CBAM regime or any other form of domestic carbon pricing, closing lignite plants by 2040 lowers system costs.

    3. 3

      The planned and gradual phase-out of lignite will ensure security of supply.

      Security of supply is not an issue if the gradual phase-out of lignite is accompanied by a rapid scaling of renewables, enhanced interconnections, regional power market integration, strengthening of existing hydro-storage and targeted investments in flexible gas plants. Expanding renewables also reduces import dependency of the power and energy sectors.

    4. 4

      A renewables-based power system is a ‘no regret’ strategy for the Western Balkans.

      Replacing lignite generation by renewables lowers wholesale prices, hedges against carbon prices and avoids that fossil gas infrastructure will become stranded. Renewables deployment can largely be financed from market revenues, especially in case of carbon pricing. Renewables also come with many co-benefits such as improved air quality and new job opportunities. ‘Just transition’ policies would ensure that no one is left behind.

    1. 1

      There is a limited set of applications in all sectors that urgently need renewable hydrogen to become climateneutral.

      These applications include steel, ammonia and basic chemicals production in the industrial sector, as well as long-haul aviation and maritime shipping. The power sector needs long-term storage to accommodate variable renewables, and existing district heating systems may require hydrogen to meet residual heat load. Accordingly, renewable hydrogen needs to be channelled into these no-regret applications.

    2. 2

      Ramping up renewable hydrogen will require extra policy support that is focused on rapid cost reductions.

      While renewable electricity (the main cost component of renewable hydrogen) is already on track to become cheaper, electrolyser system costs also need to be reduced. Cheaper electrolysers will come through economies of scale and learning-by-doing effects; however, predictable and stable hydrogen demand is prerequisite for electrolyser manufacturers to expand production and improve the technology.

    3. 3

      CO₂ prices in the 2020s will not be high enough to deliver stable demand for renewable hydrogen, underscoring the need for a hydrogen policy framework.

      Even at CO₂ prices of €100 to 200/tonne, the EU ETS will not sufficiently incentivise renewable hydrogen production, making additional policy support necessary for a considerable period of time. Among potential policy options, a general usage quota for renewable hydrogen would not be sufficiently targeted to induce adoption in the most important applications.

    4. 4

      A policy framework to ramp up the market for renewable hydrogen should initially target the applications where hydrogen is clearly needed and a no-regret option.

      Several policy instruments should be deployed in concert to achieve this aim – namely, carbon contracts for difference in industry; a quota for aviation; auctions to support combined heat and power plants; measures to encourage markets for decarbonised materials; and hydrogen supply contracts. These instruments will also need to be complemented by regulations that ensure sustainability, appropriate infrastructure investment, system integration, and rapid renewables growth.

    1. 1

      The historic EU budget of €1.824 trillion offers plenty of opportunities for green investments through its various instruments, increased climate mainstreaming and introduction of the do no significant harm principle.

      This guide explains how the various programmes work, how investments into the green transition are triggered and it identifies investment opportunities in four key sectors (industry, buildings, transport and energy).

    2. 2

      EU funds, national stimulus programmes and policy reforms have to go hand in hand.

      Despite its historic size, EU funds alone are not sufficient to meet the overall investment needs of the newly raised 2030 climate and energy targets. The instruments under the Next Generation EU and the Multiannual Financial Framework need to be smartly combined with national funding and effectively designed to crowd in private funding in order to deliver a green recovery.

    3. 3

      The Recovery and Resilience Facility complements other more specific EU funding programmes in that it allows investments into all technologies from innovative to mature as well as in all locations.

      It can be used to scale up mature clean transition solutions, which in many instances can be

      deployed quickly. Its specific feature of dealing with investments in conjunction with policy reforms is what will make the difference for sustained green growth. It will be crucial that the Commission applies the necessary scrutiny on the use of funds, enforcing the tracking methodology for the climate target and payment conditionalities.

    From study : Matching money with green ideas
    1. 1

      A climate-neutral Germany is possible as early as 2045. Compared with the 2050 goal, achieving climate neutrality by 2045 avoids almost one billion tons of CO₂ emissions.

      This would re-establish Germany as an international leader in climate protection and make it a lead market and technology provider for climate-friendly technologies.

    2. 2
    3. 3

      Climate neutrality by 2045 means more rapid structural transformation:

      After 2030, the transformation would have to accelerate with regard to renewable energy expansion, industrial decarbonisation, and the adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles. The transformation of the agricultural sector and the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies will have to occur sooner.

    1. 1

      Including the buildings sector into any kind of CO2 pricing scheme without addressing the landlord-tenant dilemma could heavily burden tenants and fail to incentivize climate action in buildings.

      In nearly all EU Member States additional costs for carbon emissions would only increase tenants’ bills without encouraging landlords to refurbish their buildings.

    2. 2

      Sweden shows the way out: Here, most rental contracts are all-inclusive rents. Coupled with a CO2 tax of 114 EUR/t, Sweden has effectively reduced household CO2 emissions by 95% since 2000.

      Since landlords pay heating bills, they have a clear incentive to reduce energy consumption and avoid carbon taxes by renovating their houses and switching to clean heating systems.

    3. 3

      Temperature-based rents can provide targeted incentives for both landlords and tenants.

      When heating bills are based on a guaranteed temperature, landlords have the incentive to renovate their buildings, while tenants who keep their apartments cooler (verified by temperature monitoring) pay less.

    4. 4

      The EED should be revised to allow for all-inclusive and temperature-based rents.

      This would provide all Member States (not only Sweden, currently profiting from an exception clause) with an easy-to-implement policy instrument that protects tenants from high carbon prices and provides targeted incentives for landlords.

    1. 1

      The EU’s “Fit for 55” climate policy architecture must guarantee environmental integrity and address solidarity.

      To guarantee both, the architecture must have a robust compliance mechanism. Whatever EU climate policy architecture is chosen, each ton of CO2 must be governed by the ETS or the Effort Sharing mechanism. At the same time, the target achievement must be a collective endeavor that supports lower-income Member States and poorer households.

    2. 2

      There are different options for strengthening the ETS and/or effort sharing while ensuring the environmental integrity of the 55% target.

      A standalone ETS for transport and/or buildings, an enlarged EU ETS, or tightened effort sharing are all options that could work, and each has their pros and cons. The important thing is to define who is accountable for reducing emissions, and who will be responsible if targets are not met. When emissions trading serves as the central compliance mechanism, prices must be allowed to rise as high as necessary to reach the emission reduction target – which means not introducing a price cap.

    3. 3

      A carbon price works better if it is supported by companion policies.

      This holds especially true for households and transport. Companion policies in these sectors guide investment decisions and drive innovation, while the carbon price ad-dresses the use of existing cars and heating systems. Strengthening EU-policies such as CO2 standards for vehicles, building codes, or support programs for low-carbon heat grids gives consumers the low-carbon options they need to respond to rising carbon prices and to reduce emissions in line with the 55% target.

    4. 4

      Distributional effects are a challenge but there are solutions for resolving them.

      100% of revenues from carbon pricing must flow back to consumers in one way or another – as targeted support for vulnerable households, as a fund for climate policy measures, or as lump-sum payments. Using carbon pricing revenues for other purposes such as repaying EU debt threaten to undermine support for higher CO2 prices. It is better to use tools that enable consumers to reduce their CO2 footprint, and thus their exposure to higher prices, rather than simply trying to exempt consumer

      groups generally.

    1. 1

      Germany can achieve climate neutrality by 2050 in three steps while adhering to existing investment cycles.

      The first step consists of a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030. The second step is the complete transition to climate-neutral technologies, for a total emissions reduction of 95%. The third step is the offsetting of residual emissions through carbon capture and storage.

    2. 2

      The path to climate neutrality involves a comprehensive investment programme comparable in scope to the German economic miracle of the 1950s and 60s.

      The core elements of the programme are the creation of a renewable-based energy sector, mass electrification, a smart and efficient modernization of buildings and the development of a hydrogen economy for the industrial sector. Besides achieving climate neutrality, the programme will also improve people’s quality of life by reducing noise and air pollution.

    3. 3

      An enhanced German reduction target of 65% for 2030, in line with the requirements of the European Green Deal, will require significantly accelerating the green transition in the energy, transport and heating sectors.

      This includes the complete phase-out of coal by 2030, a 70% share of renewables in electricity generation, 14 million electric cars on the road, 6 million heat pumps, an increase in the green retrofit rate of at least 50% and the use of some 60 TWh of clean hydrogen.

    4. 4

      The next legislative period will determine how Germany goes about achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and a 65% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

      Government action after the 2021 federal election will be pivotal for future climate policy. Intelligent policy instruments will be needed to modernise Germany’s economy and make it sustainable and resilient. They will also be needed to ensure that the structural changes are as fair and inclusive as possible.

    1. 1

      An economy-wide -55 per cent GHG 2030 target is technically and economically feasible.

      Technically feasible emissions reductions compatible with the 55 per cent target (relative to 1990) for the EU-27 range from 45 per cent to 49 per cent for the non-ETS sectors and from 59 to 63 per cent for the ETS sectors (both relative to 2005). Our central scenario of -47 per cent for non-ETS sectors and -61 per cent for ETS sectors represents a reasonable balance.

    2. 2

      Delivering a climate target of -55 per cent is possible with a mix of additional domestic and EU measures.

      Adopting additional policy measures at the Member State level, enhanced EU-wide policies and measures and a reform of the EU-ETS are the key elements in achieving a higher target. Some Member States have already set climate goals or measures that are broadly in line with higher climate ambition in the non-ETS sectors.

    3. 3

      There are many flexibility options that allow Member States to deliver higher climate ambition targets in the effort-sharing sectors.

      These include the trading of AEAs between Member States, enhanced land-use change and afforestation, greater use of ETS allowances and the inclusion of parts of the effort-sharing sectors in the EU ETS. Some of the flexibility options depend to a great extent on early action by Member States in delivering emissions reductions, which is why quick reform proposals are needed.

    4. 4

      A -55 per cent target will require changes to the current climate policy architecture and dedicated solidarity mechanisms.

      Member States with below-average GDP per-capita levels will need to make greater contributions than is currently the case; otherwise there will be no credible pathway to climate neutrality by 2050. These additional efforts should be supported by dedicated solidarity mechanisms both within the Effort Sharing Regulation and in the upcoming EU budgets.

    1. 1

      The EU’s 1.85-trillion-euro budget proposal pretends to be green, but it is not.

      It is uncertain whether the 750 billion NextGen EU recovery budget will be used for clean investment; and only a very limited part of the 1.1-trillion Multiannual Financial Framework is reserved to that end. The proposal fails to meet the stated commitment of the European Commission and Europe’s heads of state to an economic recovery in line with climate neu-trality by 2050.

    2. 2

      The 1.85 trillion euros must help Europe reach the proposed increases to its 2030 climate targets – amounting to a 50 or 55% reduction of carbon emissions – by ramping up massive clean in-vestment in the buildings, power, transport and industry sectors.

      Priorities are tripling the speed for creating new solar and wind energy, tripling the rate of energy efficiency retrofits of building, greening district heating networks, an EU-wide EV-charging infrastructure, a high-speed EU railway system, a clean hydrogen economy and a climate-neutral industry.

    3. 3

      Three climate safeguards can ensure that the future EU Budget is really green:

      (1) Stipulating a climate share of 40% across all budget lines in both the NextGen EU budget and the multiannual financial framework; (2) establishing dedicated EU facilities to accelerate climate action in critical areas; (3) setting out a clear exclusion-list of climate-negative activi-ties that will not be eligible for EU funding.

    4. 4

      Europe must develop budget governance mechanisms that combine flexibility with climate integrity.

      We need (1) to ensure that spending activities are consistent with the National Energy and Climate Plans, the Territorial Just Transition Plans, the Recovery and Resilience Plans, and other planning processes; (2) to devise a role for the EU Green Taxonomy in determining na-tional spending priorities; and (3) to conduct a budget review in early 2024, when EU legisla-tors will have just finished updating the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework.

    From study : Recovering Better!
    1. 1

      Coal generation collapsed by 24% in the EU in 2019.

      Hard coal generation dropped by 32%, while lignite decreased by 16%. This development is driven by CO₂ price increases and deployment of renewables. Gas replaced around half of the coal, solar and wind the other half. The decline of coal will continue: Greece and Hungary both made commitments in 2019 to phase out coal, bringing the total of member states phasing out coal to 15. Only Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia are yet to start.

    2. 2

      The fall in coal means CO₂ emissions in Europe’s power sector fell by a record 120 Mt, or 12% in 2019.

      This is likely to be the largest ever fall. EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) stationary emissions, including heavy industry, fell by 7.6% in 2019, implying that industrial emissions are likely to have decreased by only 1%. Nevertheless, overall emissions covered by the EU ETS are falling much faster than the cap; showing the central role of a further strengthening of the EU ETS to accelerate climate action in Europe.

    3. 3

      Renewables rose to a new record supplying 35% of EU electricity.

      For the first time, wind and solar combined provided more electricity than coal, contributing 18% of EU electricity in 2019. This is more than a doubling of market share since 2013. The increase in wind and solar generation was strongest in western Europe, while Poland and Greece have started to engage. The rest of eastern Europe is significantly lagging behind. The economic opportunities of low-cost renewables became increasingly visible. 2019 saw record low auction prices for offshore wind (UK) and solar (Portugal) - below wholesale prices – and the largest wholesale price decreases in countries where wind and solar expanded most.

    4. 4

      Europe’s energy transition is taking off.

      The European Green Deal has put the fight against the climate crisis at the very core of all EU policy work over the next five years: EU heads of state have endorsed Europe to become the first greenhouse gas neutral continent by 2050, and the EU commission is putting forward proposals to raise Europe’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to -50% or -55% below 1990 levels. This implies power sector emissions will keep falling, even if electricity demand increases as transport, heating industry continue to electrify.

    1. 1

      The sustainable energy transition in the heating sector is currently lagging and buildings sector goals are unlikely to be met by 2030.

      Reducing emissions from the current level of 130 million tons of CO2 to between 70 and 72 million tons in the next 11 years will require ramping up all available technologies across the board. These include insulation, heat pumps, heat networks, decentralized renewable energy and power-to-gas. Cherry-picking the various building technologies is no longer an option because of past shortcomings.

    2. 2

      Energy efficiency in existing buildings is a prerequisite for technology neutrality.

      Ensuring adequate competition between various energy supply options such as renewable energy, heat pumps, synthetic fuels and decarbonized heat networks requires reducing final energy consumption by at least a third before 2050. The more efficient a building is, the more realistic any necessary expansion on the generation side will be.

    3. 3

      Power-to-gas can only complement aggressive efficiency policies in the buildings sector, not replace them.

      Synthetic fuels are a significant component of energy supply in all 2050 climate protection scenarios. But their contribution by 2030 is only limited, and even between 2030 and 2050 they are considerably more expensive than most energy efficiency measures in the buildings sector. In addition, the bulk of generation from power-to-gas may be allocated to other markets (industrial processes, shipping, air travel and transport by truck).

    4. 4

      To successfully implement the heating transition, we urgently need a roadmap for promoting energy efficiency in buildings by 2030.

      To this end, a package of policy measures is needed, including changes to relevant laws, regulations and energy tax laws, as well as an overhaul of funding programs. The heating sector goals for 2030 and 2050 can only be met if the installation rate of all building-related climate protection technologies is quadrupled.

    1. 1

      The basic materials industry is facing a major challenge: it must make a 25% reduction in emissions by 2030 and achieve near zero emissions by 2050 – but emission levels have remained constant over the last ten years.

      Breakthrough innovations are thus needed to enable the climate-neutral production of steel, chemicals and cement. Gradual efficiency improvements remain important, but they are no longer sufficient.

    2. 2

      The technologies needed for climate-neutral industry are already available – or are close to market readiness.

      Green hydrogen will play a central role in achieving carbon neutrality in the steel and chemical industries. Particularly in the chemicals industry, the closing of material loops will be a core strategy. In the cement industry, new binders and carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be key technologies.

    3. 3

      Industry needs a new regulatory framework over the short term, as a major reinvestment phase will occur between 2020 and 2030. Promising political instruments include Carbon Contracts for Difference (CfD), a green hydrogen quota, and a green public procurement commitment by the federal government.

      With the right mix of policy instruments, the German government can ensure reliable conditions for investment while also incentivising behaviour at various levels of the supply chain: upstream, midstream and downstream. By contrast, continued investment into conventional technologies risks stranded assets, as new industrial plants have lifespans well beyond 2050.

    4. 4

      The future of German industry must be climate-neutral. Germany now has the opportunity to become a technology leader in key low-carbon technologies with a significant potential upside.

      By ushering in climate-neutral industry at home, Germany could help to demonstrate the viability of a climate-neutral industry and thereby help to foster a global market for low-carbon technologies worth billions.

    1. 1

      Even when wind and solar conditions are better, investing into renewables in South East Europe is more expensive than in Western and Northern Europe.

      The reason: countries in South East Europe face higher financing costs due to perceived higher investor risks. More costly than necessary renewables investments seriously hamper power system modernisation in SEE.

    2. 2

      South East Europe could secure low cost renewables by introducing contractual, regulatory and market policies that greatly reduce investor risk and thereby lower financing costs.

      “De-risking measures” available to governments will reduce renewable energy project costs to levels comparable or lower than those of fossil fuel investments. Low cost renewable energy projects are thus a real alternative for replacing old and polluting lignite power plants.

    3. 3

      De-risking measures will lower the cost of renewable energy projects by 20 per cent. The cost for onshore wind would fall to 46 EUR/MWh in Greece and 54 EUR/MWh in Serbia.

      De-risking measures with the highest impact include: (1) the proposed EU budget guarantee mechanism; (2) reliable, long-term renewables remuneration regimes and long-term renewables targets; (3) well-functioning, regionally integrated balancing and intraday markets; and (4) corporate power purchase agreements.

    4. 4

      The proposed EU budget guarantee mechanism is a no-regret policy instrument and should be equipped with sufficient resources under the new EU budget 2021-2027.

      The budget guarantee alone accounts for 40 per cent of the decline in financing costs attributable to the de-risking measures analysed in this study. Overall, de-risking measures enable the expansion of renewables in South East Europe at lower costs than coal, natural gas or nuclear, with attendant benefits for the climate and for human health.

    1. 1

      The recommendations of the Coal Commission are an important milestone in the German energy policy debate: Germany has now resolved to phase out both nuclear energy and coal, and is fully committed to developing renewable energy.

      For decades, Germany's economy was reliant on energy from lignite and hard coal; in the future, renewables will serve as a basis for economic prosperity.

    2. 2

      The Commission's proposals, if fully implemented, will lead to CO₂ savings of some one billion tonnes by 2038.

      In the absence of implementation, CO₂ emissions from coal-fired power plants will only decline at a slow rate. However, the Coal Compromise is not sufficient for Germany to meet its 2030 carbon emissions target. Considerable additional measures are required, especially in the industrial, building, and transport sectors.

    3. 3

      The Coal Compromise will ensure a just transition for coal regions and employees.

      The compromise guarantees that no worker will be left high and dry and that coal mining regions will have sufficient time and resources to adapt economically. To this end, the compromise foresees 2 billion euros in federal spending per year - which in parts can also be understood as compensation for structural policy failures since German reunification especially in Eastern Germany.

    4. 4

      While the Coal Compromise envisions full phase-out occurring in 2038, earlier achievement of this goal is likely.

      Periodic reviews in 2023, 2026, 2029, and 2032 will offer policymakers an opportunity to react to a worsening climate crisis with additional measures. Furthermore, the Commission’s compromise creates a foundation for a socially equitable acceleration of the phase-out.

    From study : The German Coal Commission
    1. 1

      Renewables will provide 50% of SEE power demand in 2030. The European energy transition is underway.

      By 2030, renewables will account for 55% of power generation in Europe, and 50% of power generation in SEE. Nearly 70% of renewable power in SEE will stem from wind and solar, given the excellent resource potential of these renewables in the region.

    2. 2

      Cross-border power system integration will minimise flexibility needs. Wind and solar pose challenges for power systems due to their variable generation. But weather patterns differ across countries.

      For example, wind generation can fluctuate from one hour to the next by up to 47% in Romania, whereas the comparable figure for Europe is just 6%. Moving from national to regional balancing substantially lowers national flexibility needs. Increased cross-border interconnections and regional cooperation are thus essential for integrating higher levels of wind and PV generation.

    3. 3

      Conventional power plants will need to operate in a flexible manner. For economic reasons, hard coal and lignite will provide less than 25% of SEE power demand by 2030.

      Accordingly, conventional power plants will need to flexibly mirror renewables generation: When renewables output is high, conventionals produce less, and when renewables output is low, fossil power plants increase production. Flexible operations will become an important aspect of power plant business models.

    4. 4

      Security of supply in SEE power systems with 50% RES is ensured by a mix of conventional power plants and cross-border cooperation.

      The available reserve capacity margin in SEE will remain above 35% in 2030. More interconnectors, market integration and regional cooperation will be key factors for maximising national security of supply and minimising power system costs. SEE can be an important player in European power markets by providing flexibility services to CEE in years of high hydro availability.

    1. 1

      CO₂ emissions in the power sector fell by 5% in 2018.

      Half of this was structural, from new wind, solar and biomass displacing hard coal. The other half was weather-related, as increased hydro generation reversed the temporary rise in gas in 2017. Overall EU ETS emissions, we estimate, fell by 3%, from 1754 Mt in 2017 to 1700 Mt in 2018.

    2. 2

      It’s a tale of two types of coal: Europe’s transition from hard coal to renewables is accelerating ...

      Hard coal generation fell by 9% in 2018, and is now 40% lower than in 2012. In 2018, Germany and Spain announced that coal phase-out plans were imminent. That would now put three quarters of Europe’s 2018 hard coal generation under national coal phase-outs. The remaining quarter is almost all in Poland.

    3. 3

      ... however, the transition from lignite – the dirtier, brown coal – to renewables proving much harder.

      Lignite generation fell by only 3% in 2018. Half of Europe’s lignite generation in 2018 was in Germany; the Coal Commission announcement for a 2038 phase-out includes lignite. The other half is in countries where this is not yet the case: Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Slovenia.

    4. 4

      Wind is strong, but get ready for solar!

      Renewables rose to 32.3% of EU electricity production in 2018. While this year’s rise was mainly due to wind growth picking up and hydro returning back to normal, solar will be the next big thing: solar additions increased by more than 60% to almost 10 GW in 2018 and could triple to 30 GW by 2022. Module prices fell by 29% in 2018. Solar outperformed during the 2018 summer heatwave, when coal, nuclear, wind and hydro all stumbled. Bold national plans for solar in 2030 were drafted in Italy, France and Spain in 2018. The EU’s 2030 RES target, agreed in 2018, will result in even more.

    5. 5

      For the first time, the fuel and carbon costs alone for coal and gas plants were on a par with the full cost of wind and solar.

      Coal and gas generation costs rose in 2018: coal price rose 15%, gas rose 30%, and the CO₂ price rose 170%. Consequently, electricity prices rose to 45–60 €/MWh in Europe. This is the level at which the latest wind and solar auctions cleared in Germany.

    1. 1

      From 2019, a “Lusatia Structural Change Fund” should be established within Germany’s federal budget.

      The aim of the fund would be to strengthen the region’s economic attractiveness and its desirability as a place to live. It should help to: preserve the region’s industrial character, strengthen innovation among its businesses, support its academic institutions, equip it with an up-to-date transport network and digital infrastructure, and foster a lively civil society that retains local residents while also attracting new ones.

    2. 2

      The Lusatia Fund should be endowed with 100 million euros per year for 15 years, to be divided equally between four key pillars: business development, academia, infrastructure, and civil society.

      In each of these areas, it should be possible to use the available funds in a flexible manner (i.e. to shift funding between areas), and funds that are not withdrawn should not expire (i.e. funding should be transferable to subsequent years).

    3. 3

      Regional stakeholders from the spheres of business, academia, politics, and civil society should play a key role in awarding of funds.

      The federal government should only play a monitoring and coordinating role, as part of a steering committee; decisions on funding priorities should be made by stakeholders from the region.

    4. 4

      The funds assigned to the civil society pillar should be administered by a new “Lusatia Future Foundation.”

      Raising the attractiveness of a region means more than just promoting its economy, academic institutions and infrastructure. Ultimately, the vibrancy of a place depends on art, culture, lived traditions and the quality of civil society. These factors require ongoing support, which can be guaranteed in the short term through the Structural Change Fund and in the long term through developing a foundation with a strong endowment.

    From study : A Future for Lusatia
    1. 1

      New renewables generation sharply increased in 2017, with wind, solar and biomass overtaking coal for the first time.

      Since Europe‘s hydro potential is largely tapped, the increase in renewables comes from wind, solar and biomass generation. They rose by 12% in 2017 to 679 Terawatt hours, putting wind, solar and biomass above coal generation for the first time. This is incredible progress, considering just five years ago, coal generation was more than twice that of wind, solar and biomass.

    2. 2

      But renewables growth has become even more uneven.

      Germany and the UK alone contributed to 56% of the growth in renewables in the past three years. There is also a bias in favor of wind: a massive 19% increase in wind generation took place in 2017, due to good wind conditions and huge investment into wind plants. This is good news since the biomass boom is now over, but bad news in that solar was responsible for just 14% of the renewables growth in 2014 to 2017.

    3. 3

      Electricity consumption rose by 0.7% in 2017, marking a third consecutive year of increases.

      With Europe‘s economy being on a growth path again, power demand is rising as well. This suggests Europe‘s efficiency efforts are not sufficient and hence the EU‘s efficiency policy needs further strengthening.

    4. 4

      CO2 emissions in the power sector were unchanged in 2017, and rose economy-wide.

      Low hydro and nuclear generation coupled with increasing demand led to increasing fossil generation. So despite the large rise in wind generation, we estimate power sector CO2 emissions remained unchanged at 1019 million tonnes. However, overall stationary emissions in the EU emissions trading sectors rose slightly from 1750 to 1755 million tonnes because of stronger industrial production especially in rising steel production. Together with additional increases in non-ETS gas and oil demand, we estimate overall EU greenhouse gas emissions rose by around 1% in 2017.

    5. 5

      Western Europe is phasing out coal, but Eastern Europe is sticking to it.

      Three more Member States announced coal phase-outs in 2017 - Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. They join France and the UK in committing to phase-out coal, while Eastern European countries are sticking to coal. The debate in Germany, Europe’s largest coal and lignite consumer, is ongoing and will only be decided in 2019.

    1. 1

      Europe needs a “Renewable Energy Cost Reduction Facility (RES-CRF)” to fill the high-cost-of-capital-gap which currently exists in many member states in Central and South-Eastern Europe.

      Wind and solar are today cheap technologies that are on equal footing with coal and gas. However, high cost of capital oftentimes hinders renewables projects from going forward, even when there is excellent potential. Bridging that gap, a RES-CRF will bring significant cost savings to consumers and taxpayers in those countries

    2. 2

      The RES-CRF would provide a fifty-fold leverage of private-sector finance and will phase-out automatically as market confidence in high cost of capital Member States increases.

      The risk of the financial guarantee underpinning the RES-CRF ever being called is very small. We propose a set of concrete safeguards to ensure only high quality renewable energy investments will benefit and to avoid over-commitments.

    3. 3

      The next EU Multiannual Financial Framework should be used to finance the RES-CRF as a cheap support for the 2030-targets.

      Committed public funds to implement Article 3.4 of the new EU Renewable Energy Directive would create scope for establishing the RES-CRF. This would help Europe to meet its 2030-renewable energy target and enable all Member States to benefit from low-cost renewable energy.

    4. 4

      A pilot project should be launched before 2020 for proof of concept.

      A key design feature of the RES-CRF is its flexibility. Being largely based on contractual arrangements, it can be tested in specific sectors or Member States before a wider roll-out. Launching a pilot project before 2020 would help strengthen confidence in the instrument. A pilot can be financed from the running EU budget.

    1. 1

      Existing thermal power plants can provide much more flexibility than often assumed, as experience in Germany and Denmark shows.

      Coal-fired power plants are in most cases less flexible compared to gas-fired generation units. But as Germany and Denmark demonstrate, aging hard coal fired power plants (and even some lignite-fired power plants) are already today providing large operational flexibility. They are adjusting their output on a 15-minute basis (intraday market) and even on a 5-minute basis (balancing market) to variation in renewable generation and demand.

    2. 2

      Numerous technical possibilities exist to increase the flexibility of existing coal power plants. Improving the technical flexibility usually does not impair the efficiency of a plant, but it puts more strain on components, reducing their lifetime.

      Targeted retrofit measures have been implemented in practice on existing power plants, leading to higher ramp rates, lower minimum loads and shorter start-up times. Operating a plant flexibly increases operation and maintenance costs — however, these increases are small compared to the fuel savings associated with higher shares of renewable generation in the system.

    3. 3

      Flexible coal is not clean, but making existing coal plants more flexible enables the integration of more wind and solar power in the system. However, when gas is competing with coal, carbon pricing remains necessary to achieve a net reduction in CO2.

      In some power systems, especially when gas is competing against coal, the flexible operation of coal power plants can lead to increased CO2 emissions. In those systems, an effective climate policy (e.g. carbon pricing) remains a key precondition for achieving a net reduction in CO2 emissions.

    4. 4

      In order to fully tap the flexibility potential of coal and gas power plants, it is crucial to adapt power markets.

      Proper price signals give incentives for the flexible operation of thermal power plants. Thus, the introduction of short-term electricity markets and the adjustment of balancing power arrangements are important measures for remunerating flexibility.

    1. 1

      The heating sector needs to phase out oil: A cost-efficient, climate friendly energy mix for building heating would most likely consist of 40 per cent natural gas, 25 per cent heat pumps, and 20 per cent district heating – with little to no oil.

      In this scenario, the importance of natural gas remains roughly the same as today, while oil heating is almost entirely replaced by heat pumps. District heating is another key factor. By 2030, district heating will primarily draw on heat from CHP plants, but it will increasingly rely on solar thermal energy, deep geothermal energy, industrial waste heat, and large-scale heat pumps as well.

    2. 2

      Efficiency is decisive: To meet 2030 targets, energy use for building heating must decline by 25 per cent relative to 2015 levels.

      Energy efficiency is a pillar of decarbonisation because it makes climate protection affordable. Improving energy use efficiency in buildings requires a green retrofit rate of 2 per cent and a high retrofit depth. But current trends in building modernisation fall far short of these targets.

    3. 3

      The heat pump gap: Based on current trends, some 2 million heat pumps will be installed by 2030 – but 5 to 6 million are needed.

      To close this gap, heat pumps must be installed early on not only in new buildings but also in existing buildings, for example as bivalent systems with fossil fuel-fired boilers for peak demand. If heat pumps can be flexibly managed and existing storage heaters replaced with efficient heating units by 2030, the 5 to 6 million heat pumps will affect only a slight rise on peak demand that thermal power plants must cover.

    4. 4

      Renewable electricity for heat pumps: By 2030, renewable energy must comprise at least 60 per cent of gross power consumption.

      To reach the 2030 climate protection target, additional electricity consumption in the heating and traffic sector must be covered by CO2-free energy sources. But the new renewable energy capacities stipulated in EEG 2017 will not suffice to do so.

    From study : Heat Transition 2030
    1. 1

      Gas replaced coal, and hence European power sector emissions fell drastically by 4.5 %.

      European coal generation fell by 94 TWh and gas generation increased by 101 TWh, resulting in 48 Mt less CO2 emitted. Half of this happened in the UK, but also Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Greece saw switching from coal to gas. However, gas generation was far from reaching a record – it is still 168 TWh below the 2010 level, showing that more coal-gas switching is possible without new infrastructure.

    2. 2

      Renewables increased only slightly from 29.2 % to 29.6 % of the electricity mix, mainly due to bad solar and wind conditions. Radical price falls give hope for future growth.

      Solar and wind conditions were generally below average in 2016, compared to well above average in 2015. However, with new capacity installed, overall generation still saw small increases. As to prices, 2016 saw record low renewables auction results with only 49,9 Euros/MWh for wind offshore and 53,8 Euros/MWh for solar, both in Denmark.

    3. 3

      Electricity consumption rises slightly by 0.5 %, with European GDP rising by 1.7 %.

      Only two countries saw falls in electricity consumption in 2016, most had modest increases. Investment going into energy efficiency is apparently sufficient to prevent electricity consumption from rising but not enough for electricity consumption to begin structurally falling.

    4. 4

      The structural oversupply of the EU-ETS has passed the landmark of 3 billion tonnes of CO2, as 2016 added another 255 million tonnes CO2.

      The reason is that ETS emissions are structurally below the cap – mocking the concept of a “cap-and-trade” system. To play a meaningful role in EU climate policy, the EU ETS needs to be fundamentally repaired.

    5. 5

      The outlook for 2017 is for further big falls in fossil generation – but whether this is coal or gas is uncertain.

      2016 gave a glimpse of the rapid falls in emissions that are possible with decreased coal production. But a coherent European policy approach to continually increasing renewables and to a just transition in the context of a coal phase-out is needed to ensure that the CO2 reductions of 2016 are continued into the future.

    1. 1

      Renewable energy investments are more capital intensive than investments in fossil-fired power generation.

      They are also much more sensitive to political and regulatory risks. This is highly relevant when addressing Europe’s 2030 renewables framework consisting of a binding EU target without binding Member States targets.

    2. 2

      The costs of capital for renewables vary widely between Member States.

      Perceived ex-ante risks translate into country specific premiums on the costs for renewable energy investments that have nothing to do with technology risks or weather conditions.

    3. 3

      Equalising costs of capital throughout the EU would save taxpayers at least 34 billion Euros to meet the 2030 renewables target.

      It would also allow for broader sharing of the social, economic and health benefits of renewable energy investments, and would particularly benefit EU Member States with lower than average per capita GDP.

    1. 1

      As of 2015, renewable energies are Europe’s dominant power source, with a 29 percent share of the power mix.

      Nuclear power comes in second with 27 percent, coal (hard coal and lignite) amount to 26 percent. Among RES, wind power increased significantly by more than 50 terawatt hours to 307 terawatt hours in total. Hydropower produced much less due to less precipitation.

    2. 2

      Three key trends in European power production have emerged in 2010-2015: gas and nuclear power are losing ground, renewables are on the rise while coal is in 2015 back on 2010 levels.

      From 2010 to 2015, gas demand fell by more than a third, while renewables increased by 35.9 percent. Nuclear power production decreased slightly (-6.3 percent) and, following a slight decrease in 2014, coal (hard coal and lignite) returned to the 2010 level in 2015.

    3. 3

      CO2 emissions in the European power sector increased in 2015 by 2 percent. They could be lower by some 100 million tonnes if the decline in fossil power production since 2010 had been coal instead of gas.

      The average price of a tonne of CO2 in 2015 was 7.60 euros, which leads to coal-fired power plants having lower marginal costs than gas-fired power plants. Coal therefore outcompetes gas throughout Europe, which has resulted, for example, in the high coal power exports in 2015 from Germany to its neighbours.

    4. 4

      Outlook: Four major developments will probably characterise 2016: more RES, less coal, less consumption and lower CO2 prices.

      Additional capacity in mainly the onshore and offshore wind energy sector will increase RES production by another 50 terawatt hours. The carbon floor price in the UK, yielding a CO2 price signal of some 30 euros per tonne, will push out coal in the UK in favour of gas. Further efficiency developments and the relatively mild winter will lower power consumption. The demand for CO2 allowances will therefore decrease, leading to lower CO2 ETS prices in 2016 than in 2015.

    1. 1

      The Foundation

      Principle 1: Convening a ‘Round Table for a National Consensus on Coal’

      Principle 2: Incremental, legally binding phase-out of coal power by 2040

    2. 2

      The Coal Phase-Out in Germany’s Power Plant Fleet

      Principle 3: No new construction of coal-fired power plants

      Principle 4: Determine a cost-efficient decommissioning plan for existing coal power plants based on remaining plant lifespans, including flexibility options in lignite mining regions

      Principle 5: No additional national climate policy regulations for coal-fired power plants beyond the phase-out plan

    3. 3

      The Coal Phase-Out in Lignite Mining Regions

      Principle 6: No additional lignite mines and no further relocation processes of affected communities

      Principle 7: The follow-up costs of lignite mining should be financed with a special levy on lignite

      Principle 8: Creation of ‘Structural Change Fund’ to ensure a sound financial basis for structural change in affected regions

    4. 4

      Economic and Social Aspects of the Coal Phase-Out

      Principle 9: Ensuring security of supply over the entire transformation period

      Principle 10: Strengthening EU Emissions Trading and the prompt retirement of CO? certificates set free by the coal phase-out

      Principle 11: Ensuring the economic competitiveness of energy-intensive companies and the Germany economy as a whole during the transformation process

    1. 1

      Germany is currently facing an Energiewende paradox: Despite an increasing share of renewable energy sources, its greenhouse gas emissions are rising.

      The reason for this paradox is not to be found in thedecision to phase out nuclear power – the decrease of nuclear generation is fully offset by an increasedgeneration from renewables. Rather, the paradox is caused by a fuel switch from gas to coal.

    2. 2

      Due to current market conditions, German coal-fired power plants are pushing gas plants out of the market – both within Germany and in neighbouring countries.

      Since 2010, coal and CO2 prices have decreased, whilegas prices have increased. Accordingly, Germany’s coal-fired power plants (both new and old) are able to produceat lower costs than gas-fired power plants in Germany and in the neighbouring electricity markets thatare coupled with the German market. This has yielded record export levels and rising emissions in Germany.

    3. 3

      If Germany is to reach its Energiewende targets, the share of coal in the German power sector has to decrease drastically – from 45 percent today to 19 percent in 2030.

      Sharp decreases in generation fromlignite and hard coal of 62 and 80 percent, respectively, are expected in the next 15 years while theshare of gas in electricity generation will have to increase from 11 to 22 percent. This goes in line with thegovernments’ renewables and climate targets for 2030.

    4. 4

      Germany needs a coherent strategy to transform its coal sector.

      Such a strategy – call it a coal consensus –would bring power producers, labour unions, the government and environmental groups together in findingways to manage the transformation.

    Projects

    Latest News

    All Content

    Stay in touch. Subscribe to our newsletter.

    ]>