German government agrees on converting national power generation

The German government announced on Monday a strategy for the country’s future power supply, from power plants that will be driven by natural gas and, eventually, hydrogen. The announcement follows months-long debates within the governing coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals.

The new strategy foresees the construction of gas power plants with a joint capacity of 10 gigawatts, which will be supported by the government’s Climate and Transition Fund, Kallanish understands. The cost for this endeavour is estimated to reach €16 billion ($18 billion) over the next 20 years.

Germany has been phasing out coal-based as well as nuclear power production for years. The new plants will initially operate on natural gas and be suitable for conversion to hydrogen, as soon as hydrogen production costs allow. That conversion is projected to occur in the second half of the 2030s.

In a statement following the announcement, German steel federation WV Stahl says it welcomes the government’s decision as “an important stepping stone for our supply safety”.

Its managing director, Kerstin Maria Rippel, underlines the importance of securing the way towards climate neutrality, while also keeping Germany functional as a location for manufacturing industries. “In addition to the urgent expansion of renewable energies, we need to make sure that our steel production has safe power supplies even in times of little wind and sun,” she says.

Christian Koehl Germany