German Coal Power Plant to Close Early After Citizen Initiative — More to Come? (1)

By Mathew Carr

Sept. 10-13, 2021 — LONDON: Hanover seals speedier exit from coal as electricity generation plant to shut as soon as 2026. 

The move may be the start of other citizen initiatives to close coal generation early, following national elections, said Fabian Hübner, Coal Campaigner, Europe, Beyond Coal.

The move followed a petition to the city council.

It’s unclear whether there will be a compensating reduction in supply of EU carbon allowances issued by Germany, Hubner said by phone Friday.

In December, a German official told CarrZee this: The Coal Phase-out Act ensures that the coal phase-out is fully effective for climate protection. What the German coal phase-out brings for climate protection will not be cancelled out by additional emissions elsewhere in the EU. This is ensured by the German government by deleting allowances from the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to the extent that the coal phase-out leads to emission reductions (unless the allowances are already withdrawn from the market by the market stability reserve of the EU ETS). The national cancellation of allowances is done by a notification of the member state to the EU Commission. For this purpose, the member state designates the decommissioned installation and the extent of the planned deletion for subsequent years. The Commission then deletes the allowances from the auction budget of the respective member state. This was legally regulated on July 3, 2020 with the Coal Exit Act. One of the components of this law is the “Amendment to the Act on the Trading of Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowances”, which stipulates the deletion of the CO2 allowances released from the EU ETS.

On Thursday, Mayor Belit Onay and the CEO of the energy service provider enercity, Dr. Susanna Zapreva, signed an agreement under which the Stöcken coal-fired power station is to be shut down as soon as possible – with 2026 targeted.

Further CO2-reducing measures for the heat supply were agreed, which are financed by the city and enercity.

(Updates with context on carbon allowances.)


LINK explaining how Germany plans to limit carbon supply as coal plants close:

Press release FROM BEYOND COAL:


German coal phase out accelerates with 2026 closure of Hannover Stöcken plant

Hanover, 10 September 2021 – Germany’s inadequate 2038 coal exit plan has left its regions and companies taking action into their own hands, with the city of Hannover today becoming the latest to announce a faster-than-planned coal exit. Municipal utility Enercity will decommission its Stöcken combined heat and power coal plant in 2026 – four years early, with the first unit potentially going offline in 2024.

“The closure of Hanover’s Stöcken coal plant underlines once again that Germany’s coal exit is woefully slow and out of step with reality,” said Fabian Hübner, Europe Beyond Coal Germany campaigner. “When the new German government takes over, its first responsibility should be to bring forward the national coal phase-out to 2030, restore Germany’s reputation on climate action, and give certainty to communities and municipalities.”

Germany is the only country in Europe to legislate a coal exit plan that is incompatible with the UN Paris climate agreement, since this is supposed to be completed in 2038 [2]. However, the next government elected later this month will be under intense pressure to bring the phase-out forward to 2030. The Green party has already committed to the earlier phase out, and the country’s supreme constitutional court has ruled that Germany’s climate protection measures are insufficient and must be strengthened [3].



  1. A quick exit from coal sealed for the German Stöcken coal plant: 
  2. Germany currently plans to exit coal in 2038:
  3. Historic German ruling says climate goals are not tough enough:
  4. Why Europe must phase-out coal by 2030 to respect the UN Paris climate agreement:
  5. European countries already coal-free: Belgium (2016), Austria (2020), Sweden (2020). European countries with a coal phase out by 2025: Portugal (end-2021), France (2022), UK (2024), Hungary (2025), Italy (2025), Ireland (2025), Greece (2025). European countries with a phase out by 2030: North Macedonia (2027) Denmark (2028), Finland (mid-2029), Netherlands (end-2029), Slovakia (2030), Spain (2030). European countries with a phase out after 2030: Germany (2038).

About: Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner.

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