Germany's coal commission may recommend delaying a first wave of coal plant closures to 2022 rather than 2020, German financial daily Handelsblatt reports based on a leaked draft following Thursday's meeting of the commission.
The government-appointed commission is just weeks away from a first report due by end-November on what measures to take for the gradual phase-out of coal, still accounting for 37% in the German power mix.
Last week, the three environmental NGOs within the 31-member commission signaled that a 2020 deadline for initial closures was no longer paramount. They did, however, call for 16 GW of "near-term" closures.
The draft, which avoids quantifying how much capacity might be closed, called for a CO2 pricing mechanism covering transport and heating to offset the financial impact of closure compensation and other power sector costs.
It also called for cancellation of CO2 allowances from avoided emissions due to the plant closures in order to offset the price impact on the EU ETS system, and reduction of the tax on electricity.
There was no comment from the commission's co-heads ahead of another plenary session Friday and two more sessions scheduled for late November.
COAL, LIGNITE CLOSURES
A report by think-tank Aurora Energy Research last week said Germany could meet its climate targets within five years by closing 9 GW of its oldest lignite units, leading to a 40% cut in carbon emissions in the power sector. The report was commissioned by gas lobby Zukunft Erdgas.