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Energy transition

"No additional coal plants in Germany"

In a PDF published last month, consultants from Pöyry tell the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) not to expect any more coal plant projects after the current ones are completed.

 - A new study finds that German "coal and lignite" (essentially, hard coal and brown coal) capacity will shrink by two thirds over roughly the next 25 years.
A new study finds that German "coal and lignite" (essentially, hard coal and brown coal) capacity will shrink by two thirds over roughly the next 25 years.

Over the past two years, Renewables International has repeatedly argued that there will be no shift to coal power as a result of the nuclear phaseout. So it's nice to see that other independent analysts see things the same way.

In their presentation to the UK government (PDF), researchers at Pöyry say there are three main reasons for the "apparent surge" in new coal plant construction, which is "due to highly unusual historic reasons": a favorable market environment in 2007/2008; excess carbon allowances; and an "inability or reluctance of developers to cancel projects" when circumstances changed.

I had already written about the first two and am pleased to hear someone argue the third point. But going forward, the researchers say "there will be no major new unabated coal or date night projects in Germany for the foreseeable future beyond those currently under construction."

The analysts say that running "thermal plants has become increasingly difficult" in Germany because renewable power is "reducing output of all thermal plants and depressing wholesale electricity prices." In other words, Germany's GW of coal power will increasingly translate into fewer GWh; the plants may be built, but they will be running less and less. The experts speak of "net increase of 8.9 GW" by 2015, but it remains to be seen whether Germany will increase its consumption of coal power in the process (production is a different story; Germany will increasingly become a net power exporter of this coal power – but that is my assessment, not Pöyry's).

Starting in 2009, the experts find that "developers' appetites" for new coal projects has died down significantly so that there will be no further investment in coal plants "in this decade." By 2035 (see chart above), installed coal power generating capacity will have fallen from around 42 GW to around 15 GW – and again, that installed capacity is likely to be running at lower utilization levels. (Craig Morris)

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2 Comments on ""No additional coal plants in Germany" "

  1. heinbloed - 14.05.2013, 12:08 Uhr (Report comment)

    Thanks for the report btw.!
    The link doesn't seem to work, here another one:

  2. heinbloed - 14.05.2013, 11:57 Uhr (Report comment)

    The new ones still at progress can be called " Schrottimmobilien" (dead 'scrap' assets). They were planned with an electricity price at the eex somewhere between 4 and 8 cents /kWh. This can't be achieved anymore. So banks become 'owners' - with the typical consequences:

    Once the dress is ripped they can show-off in public as well:


    The USA ( better: the market makers there) are a bit more flexible in ways of thinking compared to German investors. But not all of them, some still go ahead despite there is obviously no demand for the aditional power:


    But the veil is wearing thinner:


    These lenders/financial advisors not only make the markets by lending money to finance power bubbles, they also 'make the news' : atomic exit of Germany and Japan brings a boom in coal consumption etc....
    A cartell job.

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