One side-effect is that a huge supply gap opens up which cannot be covered by wind and solar. This means that Germany needs to buy ever more electricity from neighboring countries with plenty of nuclear, hydro, and yes, coal power. And the second effect is that when balancing power plants need to be built Natural gas will be the first choice as it’s the fastest and people don’t want to sit in the dark and cold for long. I should rejoice – but I don’t.
Germany is slowly shuttering its prolific lignite mines, which produce the least efficient type of coal. The ghostly towns in the mines' shadows may hold a lesson for how to move on.