German hard coal company suing for better phase-out compensation
Hard coal power station operator Steag is suing to get better compensation for the shutdown of its plants under Germany’s coal exit plan, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. The company has submitted an emergency petition [Eilantrag] before the Federal Constitutional Court and plans to file a constitutional complaint—a move the company said was its only legal avenue because other possibilities were blocked by the coal exit law. Steag, which operates 4 gigawatts of hard coal-fired power plants in Germany, sees itself disadvantaged in terms of compensation compared to lignite coal producers, the report says. It aims to increase the compensation, but not to block the law or delay its implementation, it added. Alexander Reitzenstein, senior policy advisor at energy and climate think tank E3G, criticized the move on Twitter, saying that compensation for the coal exit continued to be a “bottomless pit” with coal operators demanding more despite the “generous compromises” that had already been made.
This month, Germany's parliament adopted a law, which after two years of intense debate will ensure the phase-out of coal power no later than 2038. The law has faced criticism for falling short of climate targets and granting coal companies too much compensation. But it was also seen as moving the energy transition forward and setting the agenda for debate ahead of the 2021 election campaigns.