Resurgent coal power could cause 30 million tonnes of extra emissions in Germany – think tank
The decision by Germany’s government to keep coal-fired power plants in operation to replace gas-fired facilities in the current supply crisis has resulted in a dramatic rise in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions this year, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. Estimates from Berlin think tank Agora Energiewende had shown that emissions in Germany may have increased by 10 million tonnes in the first half of the year. “We assume that we will end up with 20 to 30 million tonnes of additional emissions over the whole year," Agora Germany director Simon Müller said -- and this was despite sun and wind contributing significantly more energy than in 2021. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany last year totalled some 760 million tonnes, according to the German environment agency UBA. "In the short term we will see rising emissions," Müller added.
Germany’s coal-fired plants were slated to be shut down earlier than initially planned -- by 2030 instead of 2038. On Monday, the Mehrum coal-fired power plant in Lower Saxony went back online after having been on standby since December and scheduled to be shut down entirely. With electricity prices soaring, Mehrum’s reactivation also proved a lucrative move for its operator, Czech energy group EPH. "One can assume that everything that can produce electricity is on the market," Müller noted.