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New German state government to push for Wedel closure

19 Jun 2017 15:45 (+01:00 GMT)
New German state government to push for Wedel closure

London, 19 June (Argus) — The new government of the north German state of Schleswig Holstein will push for the closure of two coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 260MW in nearby Wedel in 2022 at the very latest.

The CDU party last week reached an agreement with the FDP and with the Green Party to form a coalition in Schleswig Holstein.

The coalition agreement between the three parties includes a pledge to immediately start talks with nearby city state Hamburg and with Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall to facilitate the closure of the Wedel coal-fired units within this legislative period. Schleswig Holstein is scheduled to vote again in 2022.

Vattenfall at the end of last year said that Wedel 1 and 2 can retire in 2021 at the very earliest, but this is subject to a timely decision by Hamburg's government on how to replace the two coal-fired units.

The three-way coalition in Schleswig Holstein has also included in its coalition agreement that it aims to increase onshore wind power capacity in the state to 10GW by 2025, compared with nearly 6.5GW as of the end of last year.

German wind lobby group BWE said today that while it welcomes the overall support for wind power in the coalition agreement, plans by the new government to introduce new criteria dictating the minimum distance between wind turbines and residential areas could put its 10GW capacity target at risk.

Under the plans in the coalition agreement, the height of wind turbines would play a role in calculating the minimum distance.