Energy Provisions in Coalition Agreement for Incoming Green/SPD Government in Baden-Württemberg

The Green Party of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which enjoyed the biggest electoral gains in the recent state election, and the Socialist Party agreed on a coalition agreement for their term in office. With sustainability being declared as one of the five guidelines for future policy, the incoming government wants to put an ecological modernisation high on the agenda, announcing a transformation of the energy infrastructure and an end to nuclear power.

The nuclear power plants Neckarwestheim I and Philippsburg I shall be closed for good. They have been temporarily shut down following the nuclear power moratorium announced by the federal government. The coalition calls on the federal government not only to revoke the amendments of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) of last year that lead to an extension, but to pass legislation leading to an earlier phase-out. The coalition announces to join the federal states that brought legal action against the AtG amendments.

In order to find a permanent waste disposal site for radioactive waste, the Baden-Württemberg coalition advocates in favour of a nationwide search for a location. Previously, the search focused on a site near the town of Gorleben in Lower Saxony.

As a central element of its new energy and climate policy, the coalition wants to pass a Climate Protection Act with binding targets. Based on this act a comprehensive energy and climate protection concept shall be developed providing the necessary tools for implementing the targets.

Until the end of the decade the share of renewable energy sources shall be increased disproportionately. The coalition intends to replace power plants that are shut down by green energy and flexible gas-fired power plants, preferably combined heat and power plants.

Until 2020 at least 10% of the electricity consumption shall be supplied by domestic wind power. To this end the coalition wants to amend the state planning law, giving potential investors a clear perspective. The expansion of energy production from biomass in the state shall be brought more in line with environment and nature protection.

Beyond the promotion of solar energy by the federal Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) that provides for fixed feed-in tariffs, the coalition wants tap the potential of solar energy in the state by creating “favourable framework conditions”. The potential of additional hydro power plants shall be analysed, taking environmental aspects into consideration. The great potential of deep and shallow geothermal energy shall be further exploited.

In order to involve the municipal utilities in the necessary expansion of the networks and the transformation of the energy sector and climate protection, the coalition wants to set conditions that ensure extensive and fair competition between EnBW AG and the municipal utilities and other market participants. EnBW is the state’s major utility, and the former government recently acquired a 45.01% stake in it.

With regard to grid expansion the coalition favours technical solutions which are more likely to be accepted by the public, such as underground cables and HVDC transmission systems.

As the demand for smart grids is growing with a decentralised generation, the coalition wants to work in favour of changing federal legislation so as to ensure financing and give investment certainty. Regarding smart grids Baden-Württemberg shall at the forefront of technological developments.

Energy-efficient modernisation of buildings is regarded as an important pillar for reaching the climate protection aims.

Source: The Green Party of Baden-Wuerttemberg