Europe

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

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More News and Commentary

On the Blogs: Climate Pact Will Drive Decline of Coal-Fired Electricity in Europe, China and India

Ken Silverstein for Environmental Leader: It’s all in the context of the Paris accord, signed by 191 countries in December 2015. Last week, it was ratified in Marrakesh. Under the agreement, countries will submit new blueprints every five years. The goal remains to limit global temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius by […]

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IEEFA Update: The Global Energy Transformation Remains on Track

U.S. Presidential Election Results Regardless, the Gathering Transition to Renewables Continues

Regardless of any potential or even likely shift in U.S. energy policies, the transition of global energy markets is firmly entrenched. A succession of financial and technology breakthroughs position renewable energy and efficiency as clearly price competitive in an increasing number of energy markets  Policy action, with the ratification of the Paris climate accord, reflects […]

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IEEFA Europe: As Global Climate Pact Takes Force of Law, a Bleak Outlook for Coal-Fired Power

Paris Agreement Has Made Recovery of the Traditional Electric Generation Sources Unlikeley

What happened in Morocco last week underlines the extreme and now persistent risks to the economics of coal-fired power plants across Europe and further afield, raising the prospect of further write-downs by utilities. Some 191 countries signed the Paris Agreement in December, but a certain threshold had to ratify before it entered into force. That […]

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IEEFA Europe: Seeds of an Industrial Alternative to Germany’s Regional Lignite Economies

In the Shadow of a Fading Industry, a Newer One Grows

In the same week that Germany’s economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, ruled out a coal phase-out timeline until alternatives opportunities are in place for affected communities, Daimler broke ground on a major new electric vehicle battery factory 30 kilometers from the 1,500-megawatt Schwarze Pumpe power plant in the lignite mining heartland of Lausitz. Gabriel on Tuesday […]

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Financing Falls Through on New Coal-Fired Plant in Montenegro

Petar Komnenic and Jan Lopatka for Reuters: Financing for a major new coal-fired power plant in Montenegro has collapsed and alternative funding is being sought, local power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) and the Czech project contractor said on Wednesday. Skoda Praha, a unit of Czech power firm CEZ, signed a deal last month with […]

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A Gamble in Germany That Lignite Will Survive a National Electricity-Sector Makeover

From Gas to Power Journal: Pondering why the Czech-based companies EPH and PPF Investments have recently acquired all of Vattenfall’s former lignite power plant assets in eastern Germany, IEEFA data analyst Gerard Wynn suggests that the buyers don’t believe Germany will meet its 2030 emissions target. They think that another sector, not lignite, will bear […]

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IEEFA Germany: Climate Policy Probably Spells the End of Lignite

Czech Buyers of Former Vattenfall Holdings Are Banking on a Bailout

Coal is the highest carbon-emitting source of electricity, and lignite the highest carbon-emitting form of coal. Lignite is therefore front and center among risks facing investors from global efforts to slow climate change. Nowhere is this more true than in Germany, where lignite is still the single biggest source of power generation, accounting for one quarter […]

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Netherlands Parliament Votes to Close Remaining Coal-Fired Plants

Arthur Neslen for The Guardian: The Dutch parliament has voted for a 55% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030, which would require the closure of all the country’s coal-fired power plants. The unexpected vote on Thursday night by 77 to 72 would bring the Netherlands clearly into line with the Paris climate agreement, with some […]

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IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

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In Passing German Lignite Assets to Czech Investors, Vattenfall Walks Away From a Mess

Philip Blenkinsop  and Barbara Lewis for Reuters: Regulators cleared on Thursday Swedish utility Vattenfall’s sale of German lignite power plants and coal mines in a deal that will see it divest some of the most polluting fossil fuel generation. The deal has whipped up controversy because the operations are being sold to a new operator […]

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