How to phase out coal?

Germany plans to take all its coal-fired power plants off the grid by 2038. Europe's press discusses if and how that can work.

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Echo24 (CZ) /

Nuclear power and coal too much too fast

After the nuclear phaseout Germany's decision to phase out coal production as well is irresponsible, Echo24 criticises:

“Energy surpluses and shortages can occur at a moment's notice nowadays. When power is in short supply the big energy gobblers must be shut down so that private households and public services can function. Last year the German aluminium plants stood idle 78 times. Add to that the upcoming transition to electric cars. While at present there are just 60,000 in Germany, the government wants that number to rise to a million before long. Where is the energy supposed to come from? ... No other big country in Europe has banned two energy sources - nuclear and coal - at the same time. Germany is apparently well on its way to radical deindustrialisation.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Time to develop the European energy market

After the agreement on phasing out coal Germany will have to secure new energy sources, Jyllands-Posten comments:

“It hardly makes sense for the Germans to block sustainable energies from the north only to become dependent on coal supplies from countries in the East. The EU wants to create a single market for energy. Because of its central position, it's crucial that Germany should be aware of its responsibility. ... All the more reason for it to spearhead the initiative for a common energy market. Without order in the German household energy policy will remain a national matter in the EU as a whole.”

Kommersant (RU) /

Gazprom needs to upgrade

This opens up a huge market for Russian gas which, however, won't be so easy for Gazprom to exploit, Kommersant believes:

“Even if the proportion of green energies increases to 50 percent because of the coal ban, gas deliveries could still potentially grow by dozens of billions of cubic metres. ... But Gazprom won't be able to supply Germany with this additional gas unless it reaches an agreement with Ukraine. ... Even after the construction of Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream Gazprom can only just about manage to fulfil its delivery obligations. Since the prospects for long-term transit contracts with Ukraine are uncertain, Gazprom could resort to a tried and tested method - building new pipelines. For example a third Turk Stream pipeline or even a Nord Stream 3.”