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Abnehmende Bedeutung der Braunkohleverstromung: weder neue Kraftwerke noch Tagebaue benötigt


  • Clemens Gerbaulet
  • Jonas Egerer
  • Pao-Yu Oei
  • Christian von Hirschhausen


In an electricity industry increasingly characterized by renewable energy sources, there is much controversy surrounding the future of lignite in Germany. In all three lignite mining regions (Rhineland, central Germany, and Lausitz), there are plans for new lignite-fired power stations and open-cast mines. A study conducted by DIW Berlin comes to the conclusion that construction of new lignite-fired power stations is not economically viable, however. Taking the transmission system restrictions into consideration, the geographical location of Germany's lignite mining regions is also unfavorable. Finally, the use of lignite makes it more difficult to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction targets set by the German government. Cancellation of demonstration projects to capture, transport, and store CO2 has defeated previous hopes for low-emission lignite power generation. The approved quantities of lignite to be mined are sufficient to supply existing power plants in all lignite mining regions until the end of their lifetime. Consequently, there is no need for any new open-cast lignite mines. The task of policy-makers now is to actively support forwardlooking structural change in the regions concerned. Die Zukunft der deutschen Braunkohle in einer zunehmend von erneuerbaren Energieträgern geprägten Stromwirtschaft wird derzeit kontrovers diskutiert. An allen drei Braunkohlestandorten (Rheinisches, Mitteldeutsches und Lausitzer Revier) gibt es Pläne zum Bau neuer Braunkohlekraftwerke sowie zum Aufschluss neuer Tagebaue. Eine Studie des DIW Berlin kommt zum Schluss, dass der Bau neuer Braunkohlekraftwerke sich aus betriebswirtschaftlicher Perspektive nicht lohnt. Unter Berücksichtigung von Übertragungsnetzrestriktionen sind die deutschen Braunkohlereviere zudem geographisch ungünstig gelegen. Nicht zuletzt erschwert die Nutzung der Braunkohle die Erreichung der CO2-Minderungsziele der Bundesregierung. Mit der Absage an Demonstrationsprojekte zu Abscheidung, Transport und Speicherung von CO2 haben sich frühere Hoffnungen auf eine emissionsarme Braunkohleverstromung zerschlagen. Die planerisch genehmigten Abbaumengen reichen in allen Braunkohlerevieren aus, um die bestehenden Kraftwerke bis ans Ende ihrer Lebensdauer zu versorgen. Daher gibt es keine Notwendigkeit zum Aufschluss neuer Braunkohletagebaue. Aufgabe der Politik ist nunmehr die aktive Begleitung eines zukunftsorientierten Strukturwandels in den betroffenen Regionen.

Suggested Citation

  • Clemens Gerbaulet & Jonas Egerer & Pao-Yu Oei & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2012. "Abnehmende Bedeutung der Braunkohleverstromung: weder neue Kraftwerke noch Tagebaue benötigt," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(48), pages 25-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:79-48-4

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    energy transformation; lignite; open cast mining; investment;

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels


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