The German government said reactivating coal plants from the reserve will not affect the country’s coal phase-out, which is scheduled to be brought forward to 2030, if possible, from its planned 2038 date. However, state governments in eastern Germany have voiced concerns over whether the earlier exit date is still viable, given the new threats to supply security.
Economy minister Robert Habeck in mid-October also announced that the reactivated plants from the reserve capacity will be decommissioned for good in 2024, as the country will then have sufficient LNG import capacity to cope with lower pipeline-based gas supplies. “The infrastructure will be ready by then and that’s when we no longer need any additional coal plants. That’s the plan,” Habeck said. He added that, even though Germany is likely to get through the winter without trouble regarding the power supply, coal plants still act as a “safety net” for the unlikely event of a shortfall.
After the winter, the German government plans to evaluate whether the measure has led to additional greenhouse gas emissions and, if that is the case, make a proposal on how to compensate them. An analysis by consultancy Energy Brainpool published in early 2023 found that the “intensive use” of coal plants during the energy crisis caused Germany to emit nearly 16 million tonnes of CO2 more than it would have without it (out of a total of some 750 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2022).
Of all things that perplexes me, politics probably tops the list. Germany’s green party only agrees to support the government if nuclear is shut down … yet they continue supporting while [dirty] coal is used instead of nuclear.
The German Greens have their roots in the understandable but romantic and incoherent rage of the 1968 student convulsions in Europe, especially the extraordinary Rudi Dutschke, and various other anti-Leninist leftist, Marxist, radical anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist, proto-ecological movements, including splinter groups of the SDS in the USA. Being anti-Nuc occured long before Chernobyl reinforced the prejudice.
The Green Party is only now slowly coming to its senses as it deals with the real dilemnas of power. The Boomer leader founders will have to vanish and die off before real progress can be made.
Although I sympathized with and even loved Rudi Dutschke as an honest tortured human, I have always detested the writings of this spiritual father of the Greens, and his still ongoing effects on European politics:
Dutschke was an inspired, incoherent, half-educated angry communist educated, commited heretical Christian boy with enormous, even dangerous, charisma.
In debates with his followers both in the USA and in Europe I usually found that I was the only one in the room who had suffered through and absorbed the incoherence of his writings and transcripts of speeches.
The failure of the Left in the West long preceded the collapse of the Right into social media pseudo-Christian totalitarian delusion.
Because Germans were showered with fallout from Chernobyl and they demanded that all nuclear be shutdown. It took time and another nuclear disaster (Fukushima) to get all the nukes in Germany shuttered.