IEEFA Research

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

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 […]

September 22, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

North Dakota tops Texas as largest U.S. lignite producer

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A sharp decrease in Texas lignite coal output handed North Dakota the title of top U.S. lignite producer in 2018 for the first time in at least a decade, as mine closures and alternative energy sources continue to reduce coal’s share of the energy mix in Texas. Year over year, […]

February 14, 2019 Read More →

Key details of German coal phase-out plan still to be finalized as deadline looms

Clean Energy Wire: Germany’s detailed coal exit path and the end-date to coal-fired power generation remain unknown only days before a highly anticipated phase-out proposal is due to be published. A leaked draft of the final report of the country’s coal commission seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests agreements on compensation for coal plant […]

January 24, 2019 Read More →

Analysts say Texas lignite mining faces grim future

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): As renewable energy sources increasingly displace coal-fired power generation in Texas, the state’s lignite producers and Powder River Basin thermal coal miners could see a key market dry up. Wind and solar are entering the grid “at very low price points,” and if natural gas remains cheap, more coal-fired generation […]

January 15, 2019 Read More →

German energy company floats takeover plan to shutter RWE’s lignite plants

Clean Technica: Germany electric utility Greenpeace Energy has proposed a takeover bid for the lignite open-cast mines and power plants currently belonging to German electric utilities company RWE, to shut them down by 2025, and replace them with renewable energy projects such as wind and solar boasting a total output of 8.2 gigawatts. Greenpeace Energy […]

November 28, 2018 Read More →

Norwegian pension fund calls on RWE to stop lignite expansion

Associated Press: A Norwegian pension fund is doubling down on its criticism of German utility firm RWE over the power company’s long-term plans to use coal. The chief executive of Storebrand, Jan Erik Saugestad, said Thursday that “continued expansion of coal mines and support of coal-fired power has no future” if the world wants to […]

October 26, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: RWE’s costly faith in lignite

Push to expand the Hambach mine raises a question: How long will a major European utility continue to buck trends?

LONDON—RWE, one of Europe’s biggest utilities, is keeping faith with its massive coal mining operations in northwest Germany, rooted in a logic based on economies of scale in power generation that defies the ongoing shift toward a more modern, distributed, low-carbon grid. RWE’s mining operations in Germany’s Nordrhein-Westfalen (North-Rhine Westphalia) are enormous in scale. At […]

October 24, 2018 Read More →

Czech Investors See Subsidies Still to Reap in European Coal Holdings

Kalina Oroschakoff for Politico Europe: Coal might be on its way out in Europe, but Czech energy company EPH thinks that there’s still money to be made in coal-fired power plants, which is why it’s snapping up mines and generating stations in Germany, Italy and the U.K. It’s part of a counter-intuitive investment play gambling […]

October 12, 2016 Read More →

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 […]

October 7, 2016 Read More →

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 […]

October 4, 2016 Read More →

Kemper’s Troubled Coal-Gasification Plant Goes Further Over Budget, Misses Another Completion Deadline

From the Associated Press: Mississippi Power Co. is adding another month to the construction schedule and another $62 million to the cost of the power plant it’s building in Kemper County. Atlanta-based Southern Co., the parent of the electrical utility, announced Monday that it’s pushing back the completion date from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30. […]

October 4, 2016 Read More →