Siegfried Russwurm, head of the Federation of German Industries (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, BDI) told reporters on Dec. 23 that “Berlin’s plan to phase out coal-fired power plants ahead of schedule is likely to fail,” because the Federal government “lacks a strategy to persuade private companies to construct new gas-fired stations within the next seven years,” reported RT.
“It is extremely annoying that we could find ourselves in the situation of having to continue operating coal-fired power plants for longer because there is no sufficient other reserve capacity,” Russwurm said.
Germany wants to stop using coal-fired power plants by 2030, and wants to rely more on so-called renewable energies. However, power from gas-fired plants has been planned as a backup, when the Sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow. German industry has been waiting for a strategy from the government for the construction of the new plants.
Russwurm believes that this demand can only be met by private investment, “and it has to be worth it—even if it’s just a few operating hours a year. I am a fan of expanding renewables. But honesty requires us to say that we need back-ups. We are a long way from having sufficient storage capacity,’ Russwurm warned, noting that the country needs at least 50 new gas-fired power facilities.
“If 50 are to be ordered, planned, approved and built at the same time, that is an objective that seems unrealistic to me. And if this expansion does not succeed, the Federal Network Agency will have little choice to maintain security of supply other than to keep coal-fired power plants connected to the network,” RT quote him as stating.
Of course, this dilemma could have been solved with the building of more nuclear energy power plants.