Coal has been a cornerstone of economic growth and prosperity in Germany since the dawn of the industrial era. It reached its peak in the 1950s when more than 600.000 workers were employed in the German coal sector. However, climate change, air pollution, and the negative impacts on health and environment require us to end power and heat generation from coal as soon as possible. This coal phase-out goes along with profound socio-economic challenges.
Therefore, in the summer of 2018 the German government launched the "Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment" – also known as the "Coal Commission". Following in-depth deliberations between key stakeholders, in January 2019 the Commission presented a comprehensive roadmap for the phase out of coal-fired power generation in Germany by 2035/2038. The recommendations are currently implemented by the German government in shape of a “Coal Phase-out Law” as well as a “Structural Change Law”.
However, this is not Germany’s first experience with phasing-out parts of the coal industry. Already in 2018, the last German hard coal mines had been closed after decades of transformation and structural change in the hard coal mining regions.
During our webinar on 9 June, Philipp Litz from Agora Energiewende, Pao-Yu Oei from the Technical University (TU) Berlin and Hauke Hermann from Öko-Institut provided:
- lessons learned from the structural transformation of the two largest hard coal mining areas (Ruhr area and Saarland) between the 1950s and 2018,
- an overview on the role of hard coal and lignite in Germany’s energy sector today as well as the Coal Commission’s recommendations and
- an assessment of the draft of the “Coal Phase-out Law” as well as an outlook on its implications for the German power sector until 2030.
The 1.5-hour webinar was held in English and included a Q&A session.
The presentations can be found in the download section below.
We have recorded the webinar. The recording can be found above.
Germany's long goodbye from coal
Agora Online Event
Senior Associate (until February 2022)