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Gabriel says coal to remain relevant

November 3, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




From PEI:



Germany’s economy minister says his country will not be phasing out brown coal before 2040, as the government looks to ways to ensure minimisation of job losses in coal regions.

Sigmar Gabriel told a conference in Berlin, "It will on no account be switched off in the next decade – in my opinion not even in the one after that."
Sigmar Gabriel
This reinforces the message coming from the government in early summer. In June Berlin distanced itself from initial proposals to set out a timetable to exit
coal-fired power production "well before 2050" as part of a national climate action plan.

Now it plans to set up a committee for climate protection and structural change that will deal with how to exit brown coal production while ensuring jobs for the affected regions.

The committee will be asked to come up with proposals by 2018.

The German government has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 per cent compared to 1990 by the middle of the century.

Domestic hard coal mining are expected to cease in 2018 and Germany’s coal miners and users expect the country’s last brown coal mines to close by around 2045.


This is an important matter that I have referred to before. Regardless of the costs of decarbonising electricity, coal mining is still an extremely important part of the German economy. It has, in my view, always been inconceivable that the German government would shut it all down on a whim.

Indeed, there is little sign of German coal production declining; output is still almost as high as it was in 2001.




And, of course, this leaves one very basic question – even if Germany reduces its consumption of coal in the next decade or so, if its output remains undiminished, it simply means that it will be consumed somewhere else.

  1. November 3, 2016 10:54 am

    It makes the UK Government policy of shutting down all coal-fired power stations look like the stupidity it really is. The UK Government is setting an example that nobody else is stupid enough to follow.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 3, 2016 11:38 am

      It’s beyond stupidity, Philip. More like downright economic suicide. Why is it O.K. for the British to be left jobless (just to comply with EU directives), yet Germany continues to burn the most polluting type of coal for decades to come, in order to avoid union action? Wouldn’t it be a shame (not) if all the remaining UK coal fired power plants were hit by “wildcat” action this coming winter…

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    November 3, 2016 5:39 pm

    If misery loves company let me gladden your hearts with the news that there are political idiots elsewhere. Engie has announced that it will close Hazelwood power station in Victoria which supplies up to 25% of the demand, including what South Australia relies on.
    The Victorian Minister has announced that there will be no problem with supply, as the shortfall can be supplied from the NSW black coal stations, so little increase in electricity costs. The South Australian Ministers are all saying there will be no problem with supply and prices will be barely affected.
    Various industries have expressed alarm about supply and any increase in the already high price. Alcoa use 10% of the generation and are indicating that they could shut down as a result. Boral are less specific and the larger industrial users in SA want compensation for the last debacle and may not survive further blackouts.
    What is it about politicians that they cannot face facts nor admit an obvious problem?

    • November 3, 2016 8:26 pm

      Eventually it will work its way round anti-clockwise, and Western Australia will say they are relying on South Australia!

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        November 3, 2016 8:33 pm

        Rather more likely is that they put up border controls to prevent an influx of south austalian fleeing their doomed state.

  3. husq permalink
    November 3, 2016 8:30 pm

    Go figure

    Greece set to win €1.75bn from EU climate scheme to build two coal plants

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