Coal phase-out law: Important course set for energy turnaround - opportunities lost through CHP amendment


The federal government's bill on the coal phase-out will be passed today

The federal government's draft law on the coal phase-out will was passed today by the German Bundestag and the Federal Council in an emergency procedure. Matthias Zelinger, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems, comments on the coal phase-out law as follows:

"It's good that almost 1.5 years after the presentation of the results of the Coal Commission the legal implementation can be completed before the summer break. This sets the course for the energy turnaround. Coal-fired power plants will lose their role as an important pillar in the energy system by 2038 at the latest. This will create clarity for the energy system."

However, the weaknesses of the present law lie in the description of the changeover. In article 6, the 65 %-expansion target for renewable energies finally enshrined in law. Here, however, the necessary concrete measures must be taken in the amendment to the EEG announced for autumn.

The opportunities offered by the amendment have been carelessly squandered, particularly in the area of combined heat and power (CHP). The framework conditions for the changeover from coal-fired to gas-fired CHP plants weren improved and by a strong degression were acceleration impulses set. Whether this - also against the background of the necessary permits and the often complex conversion processes - is successful, appears questionable. Otherwise, there is a lack of clear impulses for the expansion of CHP; in particular, the potential in industrial and commercial CHP is still not being exploited.