Power Supply Secure Even Without Russian Energy Supplies and Despite Nuclear Phase-out – Coal Phase-out Remains Feasible in 2030
The European Union is increasing the pressure on Russia with a coal embargo. After a transition period, no more Russian coal is to be imported in August. Recent studies show that Germany can replace imports from Russia with imports from other countries by the summer. However, since there is also a threat that Russian natural gas supplies will come to an end, plans must be developed to ensure security of supply. DIW Berlin has analyzed in scenario calculations how the German power system can respond to a halt in Russian energy supplies (especially coal and natural gas) without calling into question the accelerated coal phase-out or the nuclear phase-out in 2022. It turns out that a secure power supply is possible in the coming year 2023 even without Russian energy supplies; the shutdown of the last three nuclear power plants can and should take place as planned in December 2022. In the short term, coal-fired power plants must be used from the grid reserve and the safety readiness of some power plants must be extended. In the medium term, the accelerated expansion of renewables envisaged by the German government in the Easter package is expected to lead to a decline in demand for natural gas and coal-fired power generation by 2030. This means that the goal set out in the coalition agreement of bringing forward the phase-out of coal to 2030 remains achievable.