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Germany Plans To Relax CO2 Emission Target For Coal Power Plants

Power Technology News

Germany is planning to soften the 2020 reduction targets for CO2 emissions by coal power plants, after opposition to the plan.

As per the previous plan, the coal-based power plants need to cut down their emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2020, but the revised plan could bring it down to 16 million tonne, Reuters reported.

The country’s plans to impose a levy on the ancient and polluting energy generating facilities didn’t go well with the industry.

Thousands of workers in coal-fired plants protested in Berlin last month, as they believe that the step will affect their jobs.

Germany has imposed the new regulations, as it intends to meet its target to bring down greenhouse gas emissions by 40% within five years, as compared to the 1990 levels.

German power developer RWE has however warned that enforcement of the levy would lead to immediate shut down of their lignite-fired power units.

The original rule would require power plants aged 20 years or more to pay a penalty on CO2 emitted above a limit of seven million tonnes per GW of installed capacity. The oldest facilities would receive an even harsher penalty.

The new proposal aims to increase the limit for older power stations by almost a third in order to push their profitability.

Reuters cited government sources as saying that the country will now support the use of combined heat and power plants since they are considerably more environmentally friendly.

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RWE rejects Germany’s compromise coal plant CO2 proposal 

DUESSELDORF, Germany May 19 (Reuters) – Germany’s largest power producer RWE has rejected a softened proposal by Germany’s economy ministry under which coal-fired power plants would have to lower their CO2 emissions by less than previously planned.According to a document seen by Reuters on Monday, Germany’s economy ministry now plans to require coal plant operators to cut their emissions by 16 million tonnes by 2020, compared with a previous target of at least 22 million tonnes.“We do not know the details of the adjusted model, only what we can read in the media. In principle, these kind of adjustments cannot be seen as a concession, since they do not remove the proposal’s structural and political deficits,” an RWE spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

“Therefore we clearly reject the model.”

Thousands of coal workers marched in Berlin last month to protest plans to impose a levy on the oldest and most polluting power plants, which unions say could put 100,000 jobs at risk.

The levy is aimed at forcing coal operators to slash their emissions and stop Germany from falling short of its target to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels…..