Germany’s reliance on coal-fired power plants is set to last, despite the country’s increased use of renewable sources to generate electricity, according to the energy lobby group BDEW.
“We won’t be able to renounce coal from Germany in the foreseeable future,” commented Hildegard Müller, BDEW Chairwoman. “Coal is essential to the energy mix.”
In 2012, Germany covered approximately 45% of its power consumption with coal-fired power, while only 22% came from renewable sources, according to data from the BDEW. The government intends to meet at least 35% of its electricity requirement from clean energy supplies by 2020, an increase from a current level of 23%.
Due to an increase in solar and wind generation, the price of electricity can drop below the level at which coal-fired plants make money, rendering new investment unprofitable.
“No investment decision has been made in favour of coal since 2008 because of the uncertainly of the utilisation rate of the plant,” Müller explained. New investment has also been hampered by the financial crisis and expectations of higher emission costs.
Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward
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