After being heavily discussed, the new plan shows the way to a principally greenhouse gas neutral Germany in 2050. For the first time, the German climate goal is broken down to individual targets for different sectors, like power generation, agriculture and transport, and thus giving a clear orientation for all sectors. Renewable energy will continue to be expanded and coal energy production will go down accordingly.
“The decided action plans is non legislative, but the direction of how to go greener is now becoming clearer,” says Vattenfall’s Alexander Jung, Head of PRA & Media relations in Germany.
Still no clear messages
However, the Government has – so far - avoided clear messages on how and when to step out of coal and how to speed up decarbonisation of the transport sector.
“It is positive that the plan acknowledges the contribution of gas-fired CHP plants for the needed CO2 reduction. Our heat business in Berlin and Hamburg can contribute significantly to the CO2 reduction, especially if we increase power to heat,” Jung says.
The coal and lignite industry is a very significant employer in some regions in Germany and coal-powered electricity is accountable for 40 percent of Germany´s electricity – as well as 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions.
“It will be a rocky road for the government how to tackle the coal exit issue. But in my opinion it is no longer a question of “if” but “how” to do it. So looking ahead, the decision Vattenfall made to leave lignite was absolutely right, given the political and societal environment”.
Vattenfall can play an important role
According to the plan, in 2018, after the federal elections in September 2017, a new commission shall develop a mix of instruments intended to help the regions and sectors which are particularly affected by the structural change associated with Germany´s energy transition.
“The key success factor for further steps in the Energiewende process, is sector coupling. If we manage to synchronise the decarbonisation first and foremost in the electricity-, transport-, heat- and building sector, we can reach the ambitious energy targets. Vattenfall has the potential to play an important role in this process. And that is good for our business especially in Germany,” says Alexander Jung.
“A close look at Germany’s climate action plan”