Germany to Add Most Coal-Fired Plants in Two Decades
By Paul Homewood
Brown coal is dumped onto a conveyor belt at Vattenfall AB’s Jaenschwalde open coal mine in Cottbus, Germany. New German coal plants with about 5,300 megawatts of capacity will start generating power in 2013.
Germany will this year start up more coal-fired power stations than at any time in the past 20 years as the country advances a plan to exit nuclear energy by 2022.
New coal plants with about 5,300 megawatts of capacity will start generating power this year, the Muenster-based IWR renewable energy institute said in an e-mailed statement today, citing data from the German regulator. About 1,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity are expected to come offline, it said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who shut Germany’s oldest atomic reactors two years ago in response to the Fukushima disaster in Japan, is seeking to replace the remaining nuclear plants with renewable generators and efficient fossil-fired stations. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, rose 1.6 percent last year as more coal was burned to generate power, the Environment Ministry said two days ago.
None of this, of course, is news to Notalotofpeopleknowthat. As I reported last September, six coal power stations are due to open this year, in addition to the two that opened last year. Together, they will contribute 8175MW of capacity, which represents about 10% of Germany’s electricity needs.
There are a further eight coal stations planned to come on stream by 2020, which will supply another 12% of the country’s power supply.
And the UK? While our coal stations will shut prematurely because of EU emissions regulations, by law no replacements will be allowed unless they include non existent Carbon Capture technology.
There are plans to develop a trial CCS plant at Drax, which will be paid for by government subsidies. There is, of course, no guarantee that the technology will be successful or cost efficient. In any event, Drax will have a tiny capacity compared to the giant stations being built in Germany.
The project is still at the planning stage, so it will years before there is any tangible result.
At the rate we are going, the last person to leave won’t have to turn out the lights. They will already have gone off.