Culture 2 min read

Germany To Shut Down All of Its Coal-Fired Power Plants

In a landmark agreement, Germany has agreed to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2040 at the latest, leaving the country to run entirely on renewable energy.

Germany aims to shut down all of its coal plants in the next two decades. | Image By Alexander Khitrov | Shutterstock

Germany aims to shut down all of its coal plants in the next two decades. | Image By Alexander Khitrov | Shutterstock

Germany is currently one of the world’s biggest consumer of coal. According to the reports, 37.6 percent of the country’s power output is from coal. But that’s about to change.

To meet its international commitment in the fight against climate change, Germany will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants in 19 years.

The big win came after six months of wrangling, and a 21-hour marathon session on Saturday. According to the commission’s recommendation, it will cost the country about $45 billion to relieve coal-dependent areas.

There won’t be any more coal-burning plants in Germany by 2038,” said the chairman of the 28-man government commission, Ronald Pofalla.

Read More: World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Trains Launched in Germany

Germany was once one of the world’s leaders in coal production. Now it may soon become a world leader in renewable energy adoption. | Image by ClientEarth

Since about 60,000 jobs directly or indirectly depend on the coal industry, the country may undergo a challenging transition. This is made more evident by the absence of a nuclear power alternative.

Before the decision to shut down all coal-fired plants, the country had already decided to close all its nuclear plants by 2022. Although Germany’s nuclear exit was met with harsh criticism from business leaders, 12 of its 19 plants have been shut down so far.

So, without nuclear and coal-fired power, the country must depend on renewable sources for about 85 percent of its power by 2040. Currently, renewables account for 41.5 percent of Germany’s electricity.

In 2015, about 200 countries, including Germany agreed to the Landmark Paris Climate Accord. Based on the agreement, the countries must work to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. Also, they had to make an effort to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees.

While Germany was once considered a global leader in the fight against climate change, the country appears to be lagging. Critics perceived Germany’s concession to miss the target date of 2020 to reduce CO2 emission by 40 percent from 1990 as hypocrisy.

With the new decision, not only would the country meet a 55 percent CO2 reduction target by 2030, but it can also attain an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

According to Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany and a member of the commission, “Itʼs good that Germany now has a clear road map for the phase-out of coal and weʼre on the path to becoming carbon-free.

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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