Greens want to change coal exit in the Federal Council

The Greens are not responsible for the government at federal level, but still have a strong say in legislative proposals. Thanks to their strong presence in the state governments, they can block and shape drafts via the Federal Council, as was shown by the climate package in December. In the mediation committee of the Federal Council and the Bundestag, the Greens enforced that the CO2 entry price in the heating and transport sector would drop from 2021 from ten to 25 euros per ton was raised.

The Greens now want to use their influence again to correct the Federal Government's phase-out of coal in crucial points. They demand that the law implements the recommendations of the coal commission one-to-one and so, among other things, that no new hard coal-fired power plant goes online. This is shown by a joint application by the ten countries with green government participation, which will be discussed on Thursday in the Federal Council's Environment Committee and Tagesspiegel Background is available. The federal government's draft coal law dated 29. January should be on Friday the 13. March to be decided by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The evening before, the federal and state governments meet for a special energy summit in the Chancellery.

The ten countries complain that the draft does not follow the results of the Commission, particularly with regard to climate protection effects and emission reductions. In particular, emissions would not be steadily reduced, which the Commission members also criticized sharply. The result is that additional emissions of around 130 million tons of CO2 can be expected. The states strictly reject the planned commissioning of the “Datteln 4” hard coal power plant block from Uniper in North Rhine-Westphalia. “It is difficult to convey that a new coal-fired power plant should be put into operation in the year 2020,” she says in her application.

Coal should get more money

In addition, there should be no systematic unequal treatment of lignite and hard coal. Because while the operators of the lignite power plants negotiate their compensation bilaterally with the federal government, the decommissioning premiums for hard coal plants are determined in tenders – and only until 2027. From then on, the power plants will be shut down without compensation. From the perspective of the green countries, the tenders should be extended to 2030. Decommissioning by law during this period is mandatory. This was demanded among other things by the Stadtwerkeverband VKU. For this evening, the Federal Ministry of Economics has invited the hard coal operators to the top meeting.

The Greens also take a critical view of the planned coal replacement bonus of 180 euros per kilowatt of installed power whom the conversion to gas should be stimulated. In doing so, it had to be examined in a regionally differentiated manner to what extent the amount of the bonus and the duration of the payment were necessary in order to develop the necessary incentive effect. It should be noted that the fuel switch from coal to gas in some cases entails a complex expansion of the gas infrastructure. According to industry information, difficulties in gas supply are emerging, particularly in southern Germany.

Das Steinkohlekraftwerk Moorburg.

The hard coal-fired power plant Moorburg. Photo: dpa

Because coal-fired power plants are one today Taking over most of the German heat supply, the coal commission and the federal states are committed to promoting modern, flexible electricity and heating systems. In addition to low-CO2 CHP systems, they also include storage facilities, district heating networks, heat pumps, and solar and geothermal systems.

The Federal Government may set an expansion target for 2030 and the funding cap of 1.5 billion euros in CHP – Delete or raise the law appropriately. For the use of renewable energies in district heating supply, it should also set an expansion target, demand the green federal states.

EEG changes particularly urgent

Parallel to the exit plan for coal, the goal set out in the coalition agreement should be: the green electricity share by 2030 to increase to 65 percent, enshrined in the law become. This would result in three changes to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which, according to the application, “have been largely discussed and whose implementation is particularly urgent”. This concerns the lifting of the subsidy cover for PV roof systems, a new regulation for privileging civil energy companies and a proposal for the financial participation of municipalities in wind farms.

The Federal Government has to accept clear criticism for the way in which its draft is consulted, not only by the federal states, but also by the Regulatory Control Council. In its statement, the government's independent advisory body criticized the short deadlines for the involvement of the other ministries, the states and associations, each of just two days. “The parties involved are not able to examine the draft regulation sufficiently within these short deadlines,” explains the Council.