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Will Germany fail to meet their coal commission’s goals?

After many months of deliberation Germany’s Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment (colloquially called “Coal Commission”) finally published the 300 page report on 26 Jan 2019. In it the commission laid out plans on how the country could to entirely phase out its coal-fired power generation by 2038, with distinct markers in-between:

  • Shut down brown coal based power plants by 3 GW and hard coal based ones by 4 GW by 2022;
  • Decrease brown and hard coal based power plants by another 6 and 7 GW respectively by 2030;
  • The last coal-fired power plant shall be shut down in/by 2038, with an option to fast-track this by three years.

This falls short of some of the participating activists goals, but is at least a step in the right direction, especially considering some of Europe’s biggest CO2-emitting power plants are in Germany.

However, policies are often under varying outside pressures, and one coalition may think differently than another.

In 2018, 37% of Net public electricity in Germany was generated by burning brown coal and hard coal. This is down 13 percentage points compared to 2002. In its place has come wind power, as Germany has become the World's third largest producer of wind-power worldwide.

Will Germany's net public electricity generated by coal (both hard and brown) remain above 1% by 2039?

This question resolves positively if a reputable source reports that Germany's yearly average net public electricity production generated by coal remains above 1% by (and including) 2039.


Historical data on Germany's energy production can be accessed through energy-charts.de.

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