As clean energy continues to rise in Germany, the country’s massive coal plants are becoming increasingly idle. But instead of letting those coal plants sit there and rot, Germany wants to refashion the plants as giant batteries for storing wind and solar power. Germany aims to phase out coal completely by 2038, yet it also recognizes that the coal plants and mining operations support thousands of jobs around Germany. So to ensure a smooth transition to a clean-energy economy for traditional coal areas, the government wants to turn the coal plants into innovative, long-term power plants that store surplus wind and solar power during the mid-2020s. Although no particular storing technology has been singled out, the plan does include employing former coal workers to be a part of the transition.

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