The energy industry is warning of the consequences of a delay in the planned construction of hydrogen-capable gas power plants. The head of Germany's third-largest energy company EnBW, Andreas Schell, told "Spiegel": "If the power plant strategy doesn't come soon, Germany will not be able to get out of coal in 2030." The municipal utilities association VKU warned that any further postponement of the power plant strategy already announced for this summer must be avoided.
A spokeswoman for Economics Minister Robert Habeck said the power plant strategy was being further developed. It should be presented as quickly as possible. With regard to the Karlsruhe budget verdict, she said that everything was connected to everything else. It is a far-reaching judgment. The ministry is sticking to the goal of building hydrogen-capable gas power plants.
According to the Federal Constitutional Court's ruling, there is a large gap in the federal government's finances. The court had declared a reallocation of Corona loans worth 60 billion euros from the 2021 budget to the climate and transformation fund invalid. This is used to finance projects for climate protection.
Power plants for “dark lulls”
When restructuring the electricity system, the federal government is relying on renewable energies from wind and sun - but hydrogen-capable gas power plants should be built for "dark lulls". Habeck had announced government subsidies that are likely to run into the billions.
EnBW wants to phase out coal-fired power generation in 2028 and is building three new gas power plants that will also generate hydrogen electricity in the future. “Without planning security, we will not be able to make any further investment decisions,” Schell told “Spiegel”.
The general manager of the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), Ingbert Liebing, said that the power plant strategy is the central building block for a successful and efficient energy transition by ensuring future electricity supply using flexible power plants. “Otherwise we risk a supply gap, or the coal phase-out cannot take place as planned.” Without a power plant strategy, the risk for investors is too high and investments will initially not be made. In the worst case, none of the power plants required for 2030 will be online.
Politicians and the energy company RWE had agreed on a coal phase-out for the Rhenish mining area in 2030, which would be brought forward by eight years. There is no such agreement for the coal regions in Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.