Germany is looking to do to coal what it is also doing to nuclear energy – use less of it. And it’s all the work of its conservative government listening to its citizens and what they say they want. And responding:
“The conservative government of Chancellor Angela Merkel last week issued a discussion paper proposing to implement the strictest controls on coal fired generation yet to be seen in Europe, and to redesign its energy system around renewables, which will account for around two thirds of supply within two decades,” Giles Parkinson reports.
Currently about 45% of Germany’s electricity comes from burning coal. However, it was reported recently that new coal plants will not be financed there. About 24% came from solar and wind last year, but that amount could expand to 45% by 2025, if targets are met.
Leading utility Vattenfall is examining the possibility of dropping its lignite-powered plants in Eastern Germany. About 10% of Germany’s electricity is generated by this handful of coal plants, which also produce an estimated 60 million tons of CO2 annually.
They’re not alone, but Germany’s is a curious case to consider in light of our own political experience. Whatever it is American conservatives value and cherish, it does not seem to relate to the majority will of its fellow citizens, much less the ‘good of the country’ much less the benefit of the planet. No, it’s something else, and they’ve well-learned how to denigrate these other considerations. But note that they are plainly out of step with conservatives in other developed countries.