Limiting coal plants' emissions could cost 1 billion more than expected
Compensating coal-fired power plants that have to limit their emissions will cost the Dutch government over a billion euros more than expected, NRC reports based on its own research. The increasing energy prices mean that the government has to pay more to compensate for the coal plants' lost income.
On January 1, the government implemented a legal measure stating that coal-fired power stations can only emit 35 percent of their usual amount of CO2 in the coming years. The law stems from the court ordering the government to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a lawsuit filed by environmental organization Urgenda.
The easiest way for coal plants to lower their emissions is to generate less power, which means less turnover. The government will compensate the three power stations involved for this.
The measure applies from 2022 to 2024. The compensation will amount to at least 1.5 billion euros for this entire period, three analysts - who asked to remain anonymous to not hinder business contacts - independently calculated for NRC. Insiders told the newspaper that the amount is at least five times higher than the government expected.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the involved power stations, owned by German energy companies Onyx, RWE, and Uniper, refused to comment to NRC about the compensation amount. "Limiting the coal-fired power stations is still one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve CO2 reduction in the short term," was all a spokesperson for the Ministry would say to the newspaper.