Berlin wants to be entirely climate neutral by 2050, and an important milestone on this road was achieved already in May this year, when Vattenfall stopped the use of lignite for electricity and heat generation in the German capital. The next step in this process will be the elimination of hard coal no later than 2030, and the preparation of a feasibility study has now been initiated in a cooperation between Berlin’s Senate administration for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection and Vattenfall.
The feasibility study will be prepared by the "BET Office for Energy Industry and Technical Planning GmbH" and will establish how the shutdown of the coal-fired combined heat and power plants can be realized by 2030 at the latest and how an extensively carbon-free supply of district heating can be ensured via an innovative district heating mix. For the preparation of the study, the Senate and Vattenfall have established an advisory group comprising relevant stakeholders of the Berlin urban community, members of the House of Representatives and scientific experts. The group has the central task of critically following the preparation of the study from a social perspective.
Regine Günther, Senator for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection says: “The capital is serious about climate protection. Only a fast coal phase-out is credible climate protection. We are no longer arguing with the energy supplier “whether”, but only the “how” is up for discussion. This is also a signal to the federal level”.
Gunther Müller, spokesman of the Board of Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG: "Vattenfall's primary goal is to be fossil-free within a generation. For our Berlin business, this means generating and delivering heat without greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, we are converting our entire portfolio of assets into sustainable energy sources, becoming more digital and more decentralized. The lignite exit in May was a huge step in this direction – now the hard coal is next in line. With the feasibility study, Vattenfall and the state of Berlin are working together to develop the roadmap so that the last coal-fired plant can leave the grid no later than 2030.”
The work on the study will be concluded by concrete recommendations for action in the first half of 2019, and based on the study Berlin’s Senate administration for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection and Vattenfall will discuss how the insights should be implemented.