In no other developed country is the role of coal in the energy mix more hotly debated than in Germany. The country has been a leader in renewable energy development, but it also continues to mine and burn substantial quantities of coal, which has thus far blunted its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Germany hopes to phase out all coal use by 2038, though this target is made more challenging by its concurrent effort to phase out nuclear energy.
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) Associate Director Mark Thurber marked the European launch of his new book COAL with talks at two German universities. On April 8, Dr. Thurber joined a panel of distinguished experts in a public seminar at EWI (Institute of Energy Economics) at the University of Cologne, where the topic was the possibility of phasing out coal in Germany and elsewhere. On April 9, at the University of Mannheim, Thurber was the speaker for the first joint seminar hosted by ZEW and the Mannheim Institute for Sustainable Energy Studies. Before we can move beyond coal, Thurber told these audiences, we first need to understand and address the enduring sources of coal's appeal, including its low cost (at least when full environmental costs are not taken into account) and perceived value for energy security and reliability (whether this perception is accurate or not).
PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber introduces his new book "Coal" and participates in a seminar hosted by ZEW and the Mannheim Institute for Sustainable Energy Studies on April 9, 2019.
Photo credit: Julia Glashauser, ZEW