Germany will replace coal power with gas

The German government plans to build gas plants, when the country’s coal-based power plants are shut down during the coming decades.

Germany is set for a huge change to its energy mix over the coming years. The German nuclear power plants will, according to plan, be shut down during the coming five years and in 2038, a total phase-out of the country’s coal sector is set to be completed. In 2022, coal plants with a total capacity of 12.7 GWh is set to be taken out of operation.

Monday, the German energy minister Peter Altmaier announced, that the Germans are planning on building new gas plants on the locations, where the coal plants will be shut down during the coming years. Altmaier said, that the regions who are set to lose jobs because of the coal phase-out should remain “energy regions”, and that Germany will not manage to succeed with the coal phase-out without increasing the role of gas.

Meanwhile, Altmaier announced, that Germany has to continue working on improving the country’s poor grid inftrastructure if the ambition to be coal-free by 2038 is to be reality. For years, the German power grid has experienced bottleneck problems when electricity is transported from the northern part of the country, with high production, to the south, where consumption is high. As the North German wind power is set to play a more important role in the country’s energy mix following the coal phase-out, it is important that this problem is solved.

Even after the German coal commission announced their results, there is still a lot of work to be done before the Germans can start closing the coal plants. One of the issues is financial compensation to the relevant regions of the country.