German regulator advocates continuing use of coal power

The president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BnetzA) says the country must maintain its dependency on coal-fired power in order to guarantee its energy security.

"Those who call for an end of coal power generation don't have much interest in a reliable energy policy," Jochen Homann, told a midweek energy industry conference.

"We will close further nuclear plants; these capacities need to be replaced," he added, before reinforcing that coal power was vital to achieve this.
Jochen Homann
The BnetzA oversees power transmission firms (TSOs) that must guarantee a steady supply of electricity, a task that has become more difficult since Germany shut 40 per cent of its nuclear plants in 2011.

In a wide-ranging speech Homann pointed out that renewable power, being prioritised through the country’s Energiewende policy, would be insufficient to meet Germany’s supply needs.

He also raised the spectre of the current crisis in Ukraine, and the folly of allowing exposure to Russian gas supplies.

"Whoever eyes a quick switch to gas has to face the question whether this can be an option in light of current events in Ukraine," Homann said.

In his concluding remarks Homann also said power transmission infrastructure must be accelerated if Energiewende was to achieve ultimate success.

"The power sector's energy shift will fail if we cannot make progress with network expansion," Homann said.

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