German Economic Minister Favors Coal To Gas




German economy minister Michael Glos said Tuesday that the future of

German energy lay in clean coal, with only limited use of natural gas power



     Speaking at the annual Handelsblatt Energy-Economy Conference in Berlin,

Glos said Germany had large coal resources that could be used at any time.


     The challenge, Glos said, was for Germany "to take care of the clean

usage of this resource."


     The minister said he saw only "limited use" for gas-fired power plants in

Germany, citing concerns about depending on Russia for gas, as well as the

absence of combined heat and power technology in gas-fired plants.


     The gas dispute between Russia and the Ukraine, he said, "has shown how

dependent we are on Russia [and] we have to see to it that this dependency

does not deepen."


     Secondly, Glos said he was "very critical" about the fact the gas-fired

power plants were often built without combined heat and power technology.


     "I am very worried to see this development and my opinion is that without

including heat production in these new power plants we won't solve the

economic challenges of this country," he said.


     Glos also repeated his skepticism about renewable energy and his support

for nuclear power.


     "Not only do we need renewable energy, but also affordable energy," Glos

said. "Renewable energy only makes up 30% [of power production] in Germany, so

it is high time that we start talking again more about coal to secure our



     He added that "solar energy alone also won't make up for all the

resources we need."


     On nuclear power, Glos emphasized the "necessity of nuclear power to

achieve the country's climate goals."


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