Vattenfall to phase out two German lignite plants to meet climate change objectives

27/10/2015 00:24 Electricity Market

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Swedish utility Vattenfall agreed on Monday to phase out two lignite coal power plants in Germany, corresponding to 8 million tonnes of CO2-emissions.

Two units of 500 MW each of its Janschwalde power plant will be taken out of regular operation in October 2018 and October 2019 – remaining on stand-by during a transition period to guarantee security of supply. The complete shutdowns will occur in 2022 and 2023 respectively. The closure is a part of a deal between Germany’s economy ministry and lignite operators to slash lignite power capacity by 2, 700 MW by 2020 in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Under the deal, plant operators will be compensated for the stand-by availability, amounting in total for all operators to approximately EUR 230 million per year over seven years. Germany remains heavily reliant on lignite, the most polluting fossil fuel, despite state efforts to back expansion of clean energy. Lignite-fired power plants generated 25.6 % of the country’s electricity output in 2014, nearly the same share as renewables. Vattenfall, is Germany’s fourth largest power provider, supplying 2.9 million power customers in 2014.

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