Germany’s lignite security standby has not been used
The German federal government has said that the country’s security standby of lignite power plants with a total capacity of 2.7 gigawatts has not yet been used, but operators are paid a total of 234 million euros in 2017 and 2018 to keep them at the ready, writes Thorsten Knuf in the Frankfurter Rundschau. In order to reduce CO2 emissions in the power sector, the government agreed with utilities to put old and inefficient lignite plants with a total capacity of 2.7 gigawatts (about 13 percent of Germany’s total lignite capacity) on temporary security standby for four years, before they are eventually shut down permanently. The plants would only be called upon as a very last resort, for example in the case of long-lasting, extreme weather events. “The federal government rewards the coal industry with hundreds of millions of euros for doing nothing. Climate-harmful coal can be handsomely rewarded, while the federal government steps on the brakes regarding renewables,” Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the Greens’ parliamentary group, told the Frankfurter Rundschau.