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Germany Opens Another New Coal Plant

November 20, 2015

By Paul Homewood 


h/t Green Sand




From the GWPF:

On Thursday in the Hamburg suburb of Moorburg, Hamburg’s mayor Olaf Scholz, a leading figure in Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), stood alongside Magnus Hall, president of Swedish energy utility Vattenfall, and pushed a big button.

The button-pushing symbolized Vattenfall’s ceremonial opening of a 1,600 Megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant that had been under construction for eight years – despite heated opposition from Germany’s greens, who want the country to exit from coal altogether.

One day earlier, in London, the UK government had announced a ten-year plan to close down all remaining coal-fired power stations in Britain. At the very same time as UK politicians were basking in the resulting applause, Scholz’s fellow Social Democrat, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the SPD and the country’s minister of economy and energy, sat in a Berlin conference room absorbing some bad news.

An independent commission of senior energy experts advising his ministry explained to him on Wednesday that Germany was on track to miss – rather badly – the carbon emissions goals the government had set for the country to meet by 2020.



According to Amber Rudd, it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations. This is not the future.

But apparently it’s good enough for an advanced economy like Germany!


The Deutsche Welle report continues:



But the central target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020 was “seriously in danger,” according to Andreas Löschel, director of the four-person expert commission, as it presented its fourth annual monitoring report on Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition).

“The tempo of total carbon emissions reductions achieved each year needs to be roughly tripled” in order to meet the government’s 2020 target, Löschel told DW, saying the annual emissions reduction rate in recent years has been 9 million tons of CO2 per annum, but needed to be 27 million tons.

“The German government introduced a couple of new emissions reductions programs recently, including a national action plan for energy efficiency, but the programs haven’t been implemented yet and it’s too early to say whether they’ll be enough to close that gap,” Löschel said. The commision’s report detailed some reasons to suspect not.

One of the biggest problems the commission found was that energy use in the German transport sector had continued to increase – it was 1.7 percent higher in 2014 than in 2005. Another was slower-than-planned progress in improving energy efficiency, especially in the housing sector, where too little was being done to improve insulation.


Figures from the UNFCC support these claims. Although GHG emissions are 25% below 1990 levels, reductions have more or less stalled since 2006. Indeed most of the fall occurred in the 1990’s as a result of the closure of much of the old East German heavy industry, long before anybody was bothered about global warming.





The above figures, which cover all GHG, only go to 2012. However, CDIAC confirm that emissions of CO2 actually increased in 2013.

  1. A C Osborn permalink
    November 20, 2015 12:35 pm

    It is common in the EU to say one thing and do the opposite when it suits, it is especially obvious in both Germany nad France.
    But Germany is just one of many countries building Coal fired plants, the world needs coal.
    Decarbonisation is total nonsense and the sooner the public realise it the better.

    • November 22, 2015 8:04 pm

      I agree with you. The world will keep using coal and that’s a fact. As for the so called green energy, some of the ways of producing energy really cost too much and, on the other hand, it seems that their impact over climate wasn’t analysed enough, since they seem to influence climate: I would be really interested to see a fair analysis of those ways of producing energy, with their real costs and real impact over environment.

  2. Eric Hutchinson permalink
    November 20, 2015 12:48 pm

    Hypocrisy thy name is Germany.

  3. November 20, 2015 12:56 pm

    Germany’s stupid nuclear closures have focussed their minds on costs and reliability; hence massive coal expansion. Amber may take note…..if she can avoid the “believers”.

    An interesting thought is that, with VW faking its emissions figures, are their vehicle emissions being underreported for CO2: as they certainly are for NOx!

    • rwoollaston permalink
      November 20, 2015 1:10 pm

      Yes they are – high NOx emissions are caused by lean burning of the fuel mixture in order to reduce CO2.

  4. CheshireRed permalink
    November 20, 2015 1:05 pm

    Paul, is there an actual reason Germany can get away with this while we’re busy closing our coal power stations? (Apart from hypocrisy, Merkel running the EU etc)

  5. rwoollaston permalink
    November 20, 2015 1:16 pm

    Of course it’s very dishonest – or at least self-deceptive – to imagine that one can reduce CO2 emissions largely through reduction in high energy industrial capacity, which is where most of the recent reduction in the West has come from. Products are simply produced in and exported from other countries. Net global reduction? Zero.

  6. November 20, 2015 1:50 pm

    Jack Broughton The VW fiasco will not make a single basis point difference to any emissions of NOx or CO2, in fact given CO2 is directly related to the amount of fuel burnt by chemistry the CO2 emissions will be lower because the secret switch improved fuel economy markedly.

    Car emissions are expressed as a grams per kilometre figure, but this is an extrapolation of a bench test based on the fuel consumption in Kilograms and the resultant emissions expressed as g/Kw/hr. Any published figures can not take account of driving styles or traffic conditions. The published figures are fantasy land and in the US are used as a trade tariff or barrier to imports of superior performing diesel powered cars that the big three US car manufacturers can’t emulate. By the way larger pickup style vehicles have engines that are certified as engines, not by any notional g/Km measure, and hence the market is dominated by diesel power vehicles built in the US powered by US engines. Funny that.

    There is no such thing as a real world emissions test as the equipment used to measure the minute amounts of NOx HC CO and particulate matter can not be mobile and cost many Tens of thousands of Pounds. VW were not caught by someone measuring the emissions in service but by a whistle blower. All the other stuff you read is fantasy and smokescreen.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      November 20, 2015 2:16 pm

      Peter, you are wrong about this “There is no such thing as a real world emissions test as the equipment used to measure the minute amounts of NOx HC CO and particulate matter can not be mobile and cost many Tens of thousands of Pounds.”
      Car Magazines have for years been conducting real world MPG & CO2 measurements and every week for every vehicle tested shown that the Government tests are nonsense.
      This great revelation by the US EPA is not new “news”, only the part about the “cheating software” in the Engine Management system.

      • November 23, 2015 9:40 am

        AC Osborn. CO2 is not an emission any more than the water that is emitted from exhausts is, and it is directly related to how much fuel you burn. I worked in the industry, and sort of know what I’m talking about here. You drive a 1 litre car doing 30mpg and a 3 litre doing 30 mpg and they emit the same CO2 because they burn the same amount of fuel. Its chemistry and can not be changed or regulated despite the impression those that collude wish to give.

        Real world tests are nonsense because you have the variability of a driver. If you put the vehicle on a rolling road then there are another bunch of problems which I won’t go into but are real. As someone who has worked for a manufacturer and seen the press at work I have long since given up all hope of seeing anything objective or intelligent. And once more engine testing and certification is done in a test cell and then extrapolated. Think tree ring proxies and then you will understand.

        When the regulators are struggling to measure NOx and particulates because they are so low, then you know its bull to measure them accurately in the real world. Lastly, and not defending VW, but the “cheating” software as you call it has happened before with other manufacturers, and perhaps every single one of them. A VW in the US with the cheat will burn significantly less fuel, but not add significantly to environmental NOx and probably produce less particulate matter. Over all it will be running in a beneficial state.

        The elephant in the room for everyone to see is that the regulation is not to protect US air quality but to more inhibit competition from superior products. In the West we have long beaten the vehicle emissions issue, and now its about protecting the bottom line of our Corporates. The stupid “hybrid junk engines” in F1 are part of this process of demonising diesel powered cars.

        If our regulators were more focused on the job at hand we would have small and medium diesel powered cars that were 25% more fuel efficient than today and some would be pushing 100 mpg on a regular basis. My wife has a Fiat 500 with one of these new “super” petrol engines and it is useless. Less power and much worse fuel economy than the diesel it replaced. Worst choice we ever made.

  7. November 21, 2015 2:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Half a trillion un-renewable €uros later, Germany realises that on some days, the wind don’t blow and on others, the sun don’t shine!

  8. November 23, 2015 1:17 pm

    People are beginning to realise that coal is a vital part of the energy mix for both economic and strategic reasons, as Germany has.

    The complete CCGT scenario postulated by Amber Rudd is not possible for a few reasons: the gas is not available and would all have to be LNG imports, the peak gas demand almost coincides with the peak electricity demand at a time of low sunshine and often low wind. The gas grid can only just handle the present peaks using LNG as our storage is inadequate.

    If Amber can back-down from her rediculous statement against coal, refurbishment and increased coal imports are a very economic way of using the existing well developed power station system rather than putting all our eggs in one basket.

  9. January 13, 2017 6:10 pm

    GEOTHERMAL ENERGY is there for the taking and perfect to provide district heating while wind and solar the latter with battery storage can be installed en masse in very little time. Yes I agree first you close your coal plants then the nuclear after the renewable energy is built in.


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