Coal exit compromise brings uncertainty for Germany’s most modern coal plant
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
The German coal commission’s agreement to gradually phase out coal power has left investors and operators in the dark over the future of country’s most modern hard coal plant, Reiner Burger reports for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Uniper’s Datteln 4 plant, which cost 1.5 billion euros and is considered as efficient and flexible as a gas-fired power plant, is scheduled to begin operating by mid-2020. The commission’s final report says “agreements” should be reached for coal plants that have already been built but are not yet operational; Datteln 4 is the only plant in the country that fits the description. “Datteln 4 should be the last plant in Germany to shut down. This would be best for grid stability and the environment,” Uniper manager Aris Blankenspoor said.
According to media reports, the coal exit is to initially focus on western Germany, where Datteln 4 is located, while older and more carbon-intensive plants in eastern Germany could be left running much longer to avoid severe disruption in the economically weaker regions. According to the commission’s report, operators should receive compensation for lost earnings if their plants are mothballed.