TWO NEW COAL POWER PLANTS BLOCKED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN NETHERLANDS

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18 december 2013

[4C note: Carbon capture and storage has long touted by the coal industry as the "clean coal" way of providing energy without increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, But it was several years ago shown by Greenpeace to be a chimera, both because of its very high costs and the dangers of CO2 leakage from storage deposits. Moreover, an economic analysis by McKinsey in 2008 argued categorically that CCS could only be profitable for coal companies if the price of carbon rose to $80 or more a ton. McKinsey did not expect carbon to reach that price before 1920, and thought CCS could only become commercially viable around 2030 The price of carbon has been so low in 2013 - between two and five euros a ton - that coal companies in Poland and Norway have refused to go ahead with trial projects (see our news rubric for April 25 and September 23). In other words, CCS is more of a chimera than ever.

The article from the Dutch Financieel Dagblad appears first in English translation. For the complete article in Dutch, follow the links.
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NEW COAL PLANTS NEAR ROTTERDAM GIVEN ULTIMATUM FOR CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE


Het Financieel Dagblad, December 19, 2013 [4C translation]

The city of Rotterdam and the province of South Holland have given an ultimatum to energy companies EON and GDF Suez in a conflict about two new coal power plants. The city government and the province argue that the power companies are obliged to capture and store the CO2 that is emitted by the burning of coal. In a letter to the directors, the two administrations say that Eon and GDF must make the decision to invest in carbon capture and storage no later than 31 January, 2014.

The low CO2 price of the European ETS makes the capture of CO2 unprofitable, despite the fact that €33o million in subsidies has already been allocated to the project. The cost advantage for the emissions rights falls €100 million short of the costs for the construction of the installation. Without added subsidy, the companies balk at the CCS installation.

Alexandra van Huffelen, the Rotterdam alderman for the environment, will not say what pressure she intends to apply if the companies refuse to comply: “I won’t answer ‘what-if’ queries”, she told the Financieel Dagblad, “but our patience and trust are beginning to wane.”

Earlier this year, EON told this newspaper that it never made a promise but only agreed to try to capture greenhouse gases. According to Van Huffelen, however, the energy companies had promised in 2007 to capture the CO2. EON and GDF do not yet wish to react to the letter.

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Nieuwe kolencentrales op Maasvlakte krijgen deadline voor afvang CO2


Alexander Weissink Het Financieele Dagblad Wednesday 18 December 2013

Het geduld van de gemeente Rotterdam en de provincie Zuid-Holland met energiebedrijven Eon en GDF Suez is op. De twee nieuwe kolencentrales op de Maasvlakte moeten hun CO2 afvangen.

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