German cabinet signs coal phase-out bill

(EurActiv, 30 Jan 2020) The German federal cabinet signed off on the country’s coal phase-out bill on Wednesday (29 January), giving its blessing to billions worth of taxpayer money to compensate for power companies’ lost revenues. EURACTIV Germany reports.

After one year of negotiations with the federal states and power plant operators, the path is now clear for the country’s coal phase-out bill.

“We are really doing it now,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told journalists after the cabinet meeting.

Two weeks ago, the minister-presidents of the affected states (Länder), together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, agreed to take all of the country’s lignite-fired power plants off the grid by 2038 at the latest.

The only question that remained was the decommissioning tenders for coal plant operators, and the price ceiling that will apply to compensation from the federal state.

Unlike lignite, operators of coal-fired power plants will not receive immediate compensation. Instead, they will compete in tenders for the lowest possible decommissioning premiums, refunded by the German state, and then close their plants.

For this year, the maximum bid is set at €165,000 per decommissioned megawatt (MW), but in the coming years, it will drop sharply.

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EurActiv, 30 Jan 2020: German cabinet signs coal phase-out bill