Wind, solar and pumped storage in former lignite mines
Handelsblatt / Wuppertal Institut
As members of the coal exit commission debate a concrete timetable for Germany to exit the fossil fuel, companies and researchers have proposed alternative energy projects for the country’s mining regions. Swedish Vattenfall and German BayWa have proposed putting large-scale wind and solar PV parks in closed lignite mines, reports Klaus Stratmann in Handelsblatt. BayWa CEO Klaus Josef Lutz told the newspaper his company would be “capable of implementing solar and wind projects at power plant scale in Germany from 2020 onward – and at market economy conditions, without any subsidy.” In the Lusatia region alone, this could be 40 gigawatt capacity, he said. The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy has released a discussion paper on using former lignite mines for pumped storage facilities.
Germany has three active lignite mining regions, whose future prospects have been front and centre in the discussions of the government appointed coal exit commission.