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The agency disobeys the Minister of Economic Affairs: Federal Network Agency halts complete coal phase-out before 2031

The Federal Network Agency prohibits several power plant operators from shutting down their coal blocks before 2031. In doing so, the authority, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, is rebelling against the responsible minister, Robert Habeck.

According to “ Welt ”, the Federal Network Agency, Habeck’s own authority, yielded to the complaint of several electricity grid operators who still consider coal-fired power plants as “system-relevant” even after 2030. Accordingly, no coal block is to be shut down before March 31, 2031.

“The plants are needed for grid stability,” a spokesperson for the Federal Network Agency explained. “They will only run rarely and therefore will have no significant impact on our CO₂ balance.” However, he emphasized that the plants are intended to function only as reserves on call by grid operators: “There is still the intention that no coal-fired power plant will be active in the market after 2030.”

Federal Network Agency: Now Habeck’s authority rebels against coal phase-out before 2031

Whether the brought forward coal phase-out has failed remains unclear. If coal-fired power plants are only intended as back-up, this could be an acceptable compromise. However, critics could criticize a piecemeal tactic in achieving the ambitious, perhaps overly ambitious goal of advancing the coal phase-out to 2030.

But it is definitely to be understood as a “vote of no confidence” in Habeck’s planned power plant strategy. The fear that there may not be enough energy security in 2030 is substantial – apparently also at the Federal Network Agency.

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