Germany Can Exit Coal Sooner than Expected.
The German federal government has announced that it can easily exit coal between the years 2025 and 2030.
Germany has a long history with coal. Shortly after the industrial revolution began in Britain, it spread rapidly to other parts of the world. Germany was no exception. Germany became one of the world’s powerhouses in industrial production in the 19th and 20th centuries, with coal being the driving force behind much of its industrial expansion.
In the 1950s, coal came into crisis, with oil and gas becoming the main source of power for industry. And as a result, coal began to be phased out in favour of this new and powerful resource. In the 21st century, Germany plans to be one of the first countries to be completely powered by renewable and hydrogen energy.
But nothing is simple in international industry and politics as different factors are at play hindering this bright, clean new future. The biggest roadblock so far has been the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For years Russia has been the largest supplier of natural gas and oil to Germany meaning that when international sanctions were placed on Russia following its 2022 invasion, the price of oil and gas skyrocketed placing Germany in an unstable position.
Green energy has been well underway in its development and implementation, however, it hasn’t taken hold strong enough in order for a country like Germany to become entirely reliant on it. This has meant that for the time being coal has become a respite in the face of incredibly high costs for energy. Yet, in spite of this fact, Germany’s Federal Network Agency has announced that it can still exit coal earlier than expected, according to a new report.
This report says that electricity demand can be reliably met at any time between 2025 and 2031. This also includes increasing electricity demand as electric vehicles and heat pumps become increasingly popular. This timeline is good news, as Germany is a large and influential nation that serves as a model for what a country can do for its citizens. While the timeline presented paints a very good picture of the future, other states are less optimistic about it.
Some of the eastern states in Germany, where many coal power plants are located, expect a phase-out date before 2038. However, despite this, the importance of the conversation being in the when, not if is incredibly promising. This move toward clean energy is in conjunction with government policy easing restrictions on wind turbines and a power plant strategy during the first half of 2023 to build new hydrogen power plants.
For many years, Germany has entirely relied on fossil fuels to power the daily lives of its citizens, the functioning of its government, and the production of its industry. However, bright days are ahead, and the new report shows not only that this is possible in Germany, it can also be replicated worldwide in other countries which are still trapped in the grips of fossil fuel production.