As Germany is currently falling short of its ambitious plans to cut CO2 emissions, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, announced in early 2015 the intention to impose a climate levy on ageing power plants. As this change in regulation would be highly relevant for the balance sheets of power suppliers, the panel discussion of the 61st Special Energy Dialogue at the Reichstag focused on its possible impact on the future of Germany’s coal sector. Despite Germany being a trailblazer in the field of renewables, it is, at the same time, one of the developed countries with the highest consumption of coal, and this has led to the contradiction that whilst far-ranging measures to protect the climate have already been introduced in Germany, emissions have been rising over the past three years. The nuclear power phase-out, decided upon following the Fukushima catastrophe, increased the reliance on coal-based electricity production, which currently is responsible for a third of all emissions in the country. Consequently, the government feels increasingly compelled to react by tightening environmental regulations on the energy market. Chancellor Merkel has also taken the opportunity of the G7-Summit she hosted at the beginning of June, in the Bavarian Elmau, to firmly put climate protection at the top of the international agenda. As a result, the “decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century” and “deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions” were agreed. The goal pursued by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy through the proposed regulations, is to cut the emissions of coal energy production by 16 million [...]
Germany has taken two significant steps regarding the future of its energy sector and climate protection. Firstly, it chose to dispel doubts regarding country`s pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 (in comparison to the values of 1990), by renewing its commitment to this goal. Secondly, it decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022 –which was triggered by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, a tension arises as nuclear power – currently covering 15% of Germany’s demand – is CO2 neutral and will have to be replaced by other sources of energy. Despite a significant prospective growth in renewables to 47% by 2020, the energy network will continue to rely heavily on the base load capacity of conventional coal and gas power plants. In this context, with two essential documents being published by the German Federal Government in recent weeks, the role of coal power plants has returned to the focus of public debate around the Energiewende. So, it is difficult to imagine that coal, at least in the medium term, will not remain a major part of German power production. [Tweet "the main role of the energy market will remain to find a balance between power generation and consumption "]On October 31st, 2014, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy published a Green Paper on the future of the electricity market within the framework of the Energiewende. The paper underlines the transition that the German energy market will be going through up to 2022: greater integration into a European energy market, the nuclear phase-out, as well as the continuing expansion of renewables. Even under [...]
The European Round Table on Coal and Steel (ERTCS) will take place on the 28th of January under the patronage of Prof. Jerzy Buzek, Chairman of the ITRE Committee, and Dr. Christian Ehler, ITRE Committee Vice-Coordinator. The idea of combining the two sectors, previously being a round table focusing on coal only, will give us a unique chance to work out a stronger and more coherent position vis-à-vis the changing energy and climate policy. The constituency meeting will be held on the 28th of January in the European Parliament at 12 a.m., having as special guest the Director-General of DG Energy, Mr. Dominique Ristori, who will deliver a keynote speech. CEEP and EURACOAL are the NGO partners to this [...]
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We represent the widely understood Central Europe energy sector (electricity generation, distribution and transmission, renewables, gas, oil, heat generation and distribution, chemical industries, etc.), universities and scientific institutions.