Germany may relax emission target of coal based power plants

18 May 2015 (Last Updated May 18th, 2015 18:30)

Germany is planning to soften the 2020 reduction targets for CO2 emissions by coal power plants, after opposition to the plan.

Germany is planning to soften the 2020 reduction targets for CO2 emissions by coal power plants, after opposition to the plan.

As per the previous plan, the coal-based power plants need to cut down their emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2020, but the revised plan could bring it down to 16 million tonne, Reuters reported.

The country’s plans to impose a levy on the ancient and polluting energy generating facilities didn’t go well with the industry.

Thousands of workers in coal-fired plants protested in Berlin last month, as they believe that the step will affect their jobs.

"Thousands of workers in coal-fired plants protested in Berlin last month, as they believe that the step will affect their jobs."

Germany has imposed the new regulations, as it intends to meet its target to bring down greenhouse gas emissions by 40% within five years, as compared to the 1990 levels.

German power developer RWE has however warned that enforcement of the levy would lead to immediate shut down of their lignite-fired power units.

The original rule would require power plants aged 20 years or more to pay a penalty on CO2 emitted above a limit of seven million tonnes per GW of installed capacity. The oldest facilities would receive an even harsher penalty.

The new proposal aims to increase the limit for older power stations by almost a third in order to push their profitability.

Reuters cited government sources as saying that the country will now support the use of combined heat and power plants since they are considerably more environmentally friendly.

The proposal, which is yet to be approved by the authorities, is likely to help the country in achieving the remaining six million tonnes of CO2 emission cuts from the energy sector.