Germany returns to coal – and in a big way

Reality strikes.

Reblogged from http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/

By Paul Homewood

image

 

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2013/11/germany-initiates-new-generation-of-coal-fired-new-builds.html

The new coal fired power plant, which began operations last month in Walsum, along with the one launched in Lunen earlier this month, represent the start of Germany’s new generation of hard coal power stations.

Altogether, ten new hard-coal power stations, of 7,985MW capacity, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years. This is in addition to the two lignite, or brown coal, power stations, with capacity of 2875MW, which came on stream last year.

From PEI:

 A new generation of hard coal-fired power plants has been initiated in Germany with the activation of the 725 MW Walsum facility in Dortmund. 

Steag GmbH started Germanys first new power plant fuelled by hard coal in eight years, allowing the generator and energy trader to take advantage of near record-low coal prices that have widened profit margins.

While electricity output commenced this week, the plant will begin commercial operations later in the year following “optimization works and testing,” according to an email statement.
It marks the start of Germany’s biggest new-build program for hard coal stations since its liberalization in 1998. Ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 MW, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years, according to information from German grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur and operators.
Coal prices have fallen to their lowest price in four years, making this type of facility extremely attractive from a profitability standpoint.
Generating electricity by burning coal currently makes a profit of 9.16 euros a MW-hour, compared with a loss of 19.31 euros a MW-hour from 
gas-fired power, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on next-year German power prices.

The 10 new units will boost German hard coal generation capacity by 33 per cent to 32,432 MW from 24,447 MW as of Oct. 16, regulator data show.

 The Bundesnetzagentur website also lists coal plants due for decommissioning by 2018, and the capacity of these total 1458MW, a much smaller number, so it seems clear that most of the new capacity is intended to replace nuclear.

The combined capacity of the new plants, including the two lignite ones, based on 80% utilisation, will supply 13% of Germany’s total electricity generation.

It is worth comparing this new coal capacity with the UK’s offshore wind capacity, either existing or coming on stream in the next four years. As I pointed out last week, this amounts to 8.2GW, a similar scale given the UK’s lower overall demand. However, rather than supplying regular, reliable power all year round, it will supply, at best, only 40% of this capacity. For this, we will be paying some £3bn a year in subsidies.

In contrast, the new German coal plants are expected to produce a profit of 9 euros/MWh.

It is also worth noting that Germany have a batch of new gas power stations coming on stream, adding capacity of 2.6GW. As neither these, nor the coal plants, will have Carbon Capture fitted, it is difficult to see how Germany will reduce CO2 emissions in the next few years.

Tags: , , ,


%d bloggers like this: