Following months of discussion, Germany has agreed to shut approximately five of its largest brown coal-fired power plants in order to reduce German CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of her two junior coalition partners have agreed to set up a ‘capacity reserve’ system, where utilities could switch on the brown coal-fired power plants if there were power shortages in the country.
“Brown coal-fired plants with a capacity of 2.7 GW will be mothballed. Those plants will not be allowed to sell any electricity on the normal power market,” said a spokesman for the economy ministry after the talks between the parties in Merkel’s coalition.
In a television interview with ARD television, Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel explained the plans are part of Germany’s switch to renewable energy away from nuclear and fossil fuels. “We need a capacity reserve on the power market in case there are shortages due to the switch to renewables. The reserve will be made up of brown coal.”
It was also reported, Gabriel had said the leaders of the coalition had agreed that taxpayers should not pay for provisions for the costs of the nuclear energy phase-out.
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