Germany is advancing plans to fine coal-fired power plants that breach fixed emission limits in a bid to meet its 2020 climate targets, government sources told Reuters on Thursday.
- Germany will fine the oldest, dirtiest plants that emit more than 7 million tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt of installed capacity
- Any CO2 above that would be subject to a fine, eg. €18-20/tCO2, Reuters reported
- The government plans to draw up the exact size of the fine and make the measure law by the end of this year to take effect from 2017
In December, the government agreed to take extra measures to meet the shortfall to its 2020 target to cut emissions 40% under 1990 levels. Some 22 million tonnes of required 78 million CO2 cuts by 2020 were to come from the power sector.
The move would be intended to force utilties including RWE, Vattenfall and EON to mothball their least efficient coal plants.
Germany is one of the EU states pushing for an earlier start to the MSR to help push carbon prices up towards levels that would make coal plants less competitive versus cleaner forms of power production.
EON’s CEO Johannes Teyssen told an industry conference on Thursday that Europe should introduce a tax on carbon if the ETS continues to fail to provide an effective price for CO2 emissions, Montel reported.
“Either you have a tax or you have a [CO2 trading] system that works – but you must have one or the other,” Teyssen said.
EON has invested heavily in cleaner gas-fired power plants in Germany that have had reduced operating hours in recent years partly because low CO2 prices have made coal-fired units relatively more profitable to run.
By Ben Garside – email@example.com