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posted by Dave on 2nd Jul 2015

Last night, the German government announced their new plan to deal with reducing CO2 emissions from lignite.  Their plan is… to pay lignite power stations.   The burden of responsibility has been turned on its head: the previous “climate levy” proposal was clearly “polluter pays”, but now it is “polluter is paid”.

Last night’s compromise is a long way from the original idea and arguably ducks the longer term question of how best to tackle Germany’s continuing paradoxical use of some of the most polluting forms of electricity generation in the EU, whilst investing so much in the 'Energiewende' transition to renewables.

The “capacity reserve” proposal is for 2.7GW of lignite plant to be paid over 4 years to stay idle, running only when the system operator needs additional electricity.  After that, the stations must shut. 

Schaufelradbagger, Braunkohle Tagebau - Open Cast Lignite mining, Espenhain near Leipzig

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