China’s economy continues to drive ahead powered by coal. They consume 50% of the world production. The use the cheap electricity produced by burning coal to manufacture inexpensive goods and then sell them all over the world.
Germany, on the other hand, has chosen to use cheap electricity to subsidize wind turbines and solar panels.
“At the center of Europe’s coal renaissance is the region around the German-Polish border, already home to five of Europe’s most polluting coal plants, says the report, which was compiled by CAN Europe, WWF, the European Environmental Bureau, the Health and Environment Alliance and Climate Alliance Germany. Swedish power firm Vattenfall GmbH is now planning to expand the number of open-cast mines in the Lausitz area to exploit its deposits of lignite, a particularly polluting type of coal.
Vattenfall says the Lausitz mines, with their vast deposits, are there to take up the slack when renewable energy sources fail to meet Germany’s needs. “Without flexible and reliable brown coal, we wouldn’t be able to provide stable electricity supplies at stable prices,” the company says on its website.”
Green fanatics have worked really, really hard to prevent fracking in Europe. And to shut down nuclear power plants.
So what happens? A huge number of lignite power plants are being built. Lignite is filthy coal. High CO2 coal. Lignite produces 80% more CO2 per kWh than natural gas.
Stupid Green Policies have consequences.
“Lignite – also known as brown coal – power stations currently make up more than 10% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. Greenpeace said that if Europe is to continue to play its part in keeping the world within the internationally accepted limit of 2C of warming, 90% of the carbon contained in its lignite reserves must remain buried.
Despite this, lignite-fuelled power stations are still being built, locking in consumption of the fuel for decades. There are 19 such facilities in various stages of approval, planning or construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Greenpeace figures show these new projects alone would emit almost 120m tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to three-quarters of the annual carbon output of the UK’s energy sector. The average lifespan for a coal power station is about 40 years, meaning the plants could release nearly 5bn tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.”