The German government expects the coal-fired power plant to generate an additional 10 million metric tons of CO2. This is to be compensated for by more shutdowns.
Should not harm the climate, according to the federal government: Datteln IV coal-fired power plant Photo: Bernd Thiessen/dpa
According to calculations commissioned by the German government, the planned commissioning of the Datteln IV coal-fired power plant will result in additional CO2 emissions – even if other coal-fired power plants with the same capacity are taken off the grid in return. A spokesman for the Federal Environment Ministry confirmed this to the taz. "These additional emissions are about 10 million tons of CO2 over the entire lifetime of the power plant," the spokesman said.
The Ministry of Economics also confirmed that there could be additional CO2 emissions, but did not give a figure when asked. The oko-Institut, which was involved in the calculations, assumes about 14 million tons of additional emissions, according to taz information.
When the coal agreement between the federal and state governments was presented on Thursday, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) had stated that the operation of Datteln IV would not increase emissions, but would actually decrease them if older power plants were shut down in return. According to the Environment Ministry, the fact that a different assessment has now been reached is due to the fact that "Datteln IV, as a new, more efficient power plant, will have more full-load hours than old power plants."
The Coal Phase-out Act specifies for each year how high the output of the remaining hard-coal-fired power plants may be. The commissioning of Datteln IV would therefore not increase the respective total output, but emissions would increase due to the higher capacity utilization. The government wants to prevent this through additional shutdowns. "We will ensure in the draft coal phase-out law that these additional emissions are fully compensated," the Environment Ministry announced. "No ton of CO2 will therefore be emitted in addition to the agreed phase-out path as a result of the commissioning of Datteln IV."
A spokesman for the Environment Ministry
"No ton of CO2 will be emitted by the commissioning of Datteln IV in addition to the agreed exit path."
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economics confirmed corresponding plans. "The emissions generated by Datteln IV will be offset by the hard coal decommissioning path," she said. Exactly how the path will be adjusted is still open. The calculations for this are still in progress, it said.
Demonstration on Friday
Environmental associations had sharply criticized the commissioning of Datteln IV, which also contradicts the recommendations of the Coal Commission. Environmental scientist Barbara Praetorius, as co-chair of the commission, had also declared that the new power plant was a "completely wrong signal." This Friday, local groups of Fridays for Future from North Rhine-Westphalia plan to demonstrate in front of the power plant.