German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has questioned Germany's ability to phase out coal as an energy source by 2030, a goal outlined in the government's coalition deal two years ago, reported dpa.
"As long as it is not clear that energy is available and affordable, we should stop dreaming of a coal phase-out in 2030," the minister told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper, in an interview published late on Tuesday.
In their coalition agreement, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats, the Greens and Lindner's pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had agreed to "ideally" bring forward the country's coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030.
Lindner wants Germany to rely more heavily on domestically-sourced natural gas. "Domestic gas production must be intensified," he said.
In addition, he said, the expansion of renewable energies must be made possible more quickly.
Asked whether Germany needed new gas-fired power plants as a backup option, the FDP politician said: "It will come down to that, but the question is how to do it efficiently enough in a market economy that electricity prices don't rise further."