Germany’s lower parliament Bundestag approved the gradual coal phase-out by 2038 on Friday.
The parliament agreed to provide 40 billion euros (45 billion U.S. dollars) in financial aid to the coal-producing states.
Furthermore, operators of coal-fired power plants would receive compensation for the early shutdown of their plants. And 4.35 billion euros were earmarked for this purpose.
German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier described the planned coal phase-out as a historic “generation project” during his speech in the Bundestag. “The fossil age in Germany will come to an irrevocable end with this decision,” said Altmaier.
In January, Germany’s coal-mining states and several major utilities had agreed with the government on a detailed shutdown plan for coal-fired power plants, depending on the age and efficiency of plants.
“This will finally provide legal certainty and allow structural aid to flow to the regions disadvantaged by the coal phase-out. Another central building block of the energy system transformation in Germany will thus be implemented,” Ralf Wissen, managing partner of r2b energy consulting told Xinhua on Friday.
Environmental associations, however, claimed that a faster coal phase-out was necessary for climate protection reasons. A “complete phase-out of coal by 2030 is urgently needed,” Greenpeace claimed on Friday.