BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Economics Minister Robert Habeck has described the German government's agreement on a power plant strategy as an important building block on the way to a climate-neutral electricity system. The Green politician told the German Press Agency on Monday: "We are setting the framework conditions for the conversion and expansion of climate-neutral power plants, while fossil fuel power plants are increasingly being phased out of the market. In doing so, we are making our electricity system fit for the era of renewables and securing the early phase-out of coal."

Habeck said: "With our decisions, we are also solving the classic chicken-and-egg problem: a climate-neutral electricity system requires hydrogen, pipelines and hydrogen-capable power plants - but who will get started?" That's why things are being set in motion at the same time: a hydrogen core network is being built, the construction of hydrogen-capable power plants is being encouraged and planning security is being provided.

The traffic light coalition had agreed to "ideally" bring forward the coal phase-out to 2030 in order to prevent the emission of climate-damaging carbon dioxide. So far, however, an eight-year earlier phase-out has only been agreed in the Rhineland coalfield. It is controversial in the coalfields in eastern Germany. New gas-fired power plants are primarily intended to replace coal-fired power plants. They are initially to be operated with natural gas, but then increasingly with climate-friendly hydrogen. The power plants will be used when there is not enough wind or sunshine./hoe/DP/jha