‘We Must Not Demonise Coal’ – German Environment Minister

  • Date: 26/01/14
  • Diarmaid Williams, Power Engineering International

Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, says coal-fired power is important to the country’s economic security and should not be subject to extreme negativity. “Gas is unprofitable while coal is booming. We must not demonize coal.”

Barbara Hendricks

In a separate development, Ms Hendricks told Power Engineering International that a court decision, which found theforced shutdown of the Biblis nuclear power plant to be illegal, would not have any impact on Germany’s plans to wind down its nuclear power industry.

Speaking to Frankfurter Rundschau, Ms Hendricks said that while the energy transition’s dependence on coal power was ‘undesirable’, it was necessary for the country’s stability, particularly as “we can no longer expect gas to flexibly complement eco-energy.”

“Gas is unprofitable while coal is booming. We must not demonize coal. We still need to transition to a guarantee security of supply.”

She added that ‘rectivating’ the energiewende meant tacking the undesirable development of coal’s eminence. However this, she said, is to be a long term goal governed by market mechanisms/ETS. ETS, which would have to be reactivated.

In her view backloading of 900 million ETS-certificates is to be a first step even if it is not enough.

“The two billion CO2 allowances, which are too much on the European market, must be permanently removed. The 900 million ETS certificates, for which the EU has recently decided on an interim basis, are not enough. We will aggressively fight in the EU for a functioning CO2 trading system.”

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