The global energy transition is full of ironies. On the same spring day that Greece inaugurated its largest solar plant, located adjacent to several lignite mines in the coalfields of Western Macedonia, the government announced a short-term increase in mining as it responds to feared fossil gas shortages following Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Then in late June, Greece passed a sweeping renewables law targeting 15GW of new clean energy capacity to be built by 2030, much of it in this coal dependent region. Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum, discusses the region’s planned transformation into one of the world’s largest centers of solar generation.
All posts tagged: Lignite
Germany plans to convert coal plants into renewable energy storage sites
With Germany’s coal plants scheduled to close by 2038, operators now face some major decisions about how to restructure energy systems. One idea is to convert polluting power stations into batteries. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
Betrayed: Germany’s government quashes EU carbon neutrality
Germany was once seen as the front-runner of the global energy transition, but it is now working against it at home and in Brussels, says L. Michael Buchbaum.
The German Coal Commission fails to honor the Paris Agreement
The German Coal Commission has recommended that all coal be phased out by 2038. But this trajectory won’t be quick enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
Dead lakes, dry holes: RWE’s post-mining plans threatened by climate change
RWE is digging the biggest hole in Europe for dirty lignite – and they don’t have a working plan to deal with the consequences, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
Germany’s Coal Commission proposes a nebulous 20-year coal-exit pathway
At the end of January, the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment, aka, the Coal Commission, finally released its 336-page report. Filled with economic observations and recommendations, it sets an end date of 2038 for Germany to close its last coal-fired power plant. L. Michael Buchsbaum reveals the most important facts of the report.
“These trees must not die for coal”: the fight to save Hambach forest
Germany’s coal industry is a stain on its reputation as a climate leader. A group of determined activists are fighting back to keep the Hambacher Forest from becoming a lignite mine. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
Lignite: new beginnings, old problems
Recent announcements by the Polish government are unambiguous: the Polish power industry will continue to be based on coal. But unless the energy industry transitions to renewables, Poland will face shortages, Michał Olszewski warns.
Renewables overtake coal as Germany’s most important fuel source
As solar and wind surpass coal, the German energy grid desperately needs to adapt. If it’s not flexible, the energy transition will be stalled, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
Mixed Mandate: Germany’s new coal commission struggles to balance environment and jobs
Germany’s coal commission has been launched, with the goal of a gradual exit from coal. Politicans have admitted that coal-fired output needs to be halved before 2030 to meet climate targets – but have so far refused to set a date for a complete phaseout. Michael Buchsbaum takes an in-depth look.