Germany aims to decommission 15 GW of coal power in the years to come

Germany's plan of phasing out coal energy ahead to 2038, which the country's Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment agreed to this weekend, will impact the whole energy system – also in the short term.

Photo: RITZAU/AP/Patrick Pleul

2018 was a hallmark year for Germany's power supply. Renewable energy (RE) sources such as biomass, solar and wind comprised 40.3 percent of German electricity generation, showed a report from German research organization Fraunhofer. RE thereby surpassed coal, which declined to 37.5 percent, as the dominant technology in the country's energy mix.

2038 is also shaping up to be a record year. Coal-fired power will by then be completely removed from the German energy mix. 27 out of 28 members of the federal Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment (coal commission) agreed to this plan in its long-awaited conclusive report published this weekend – a conclusion that has been met with restrained levels of enthusiasm from both sides of the political spectrum, possibly indicating a more or less equally distributed compromise.

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