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VKDI Sees Continued Decline in Coal Imports as Renewable Power Gains in Germany

Coal News - Published on Tue, 21 Jul 2020

Image Source: German Coal Import
German coal importers association VDKi forecasts that German coal imports in 2020 could fall by up to 40%, with coal burn at record lows due to weak power demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic and better gas-fired plant economics due to low gas and high CO2 prices. VDKi Managing Director Franz-Josef Wodopia said “VDKi expects total imports in 2020 at between 29.6-35.4 million tonnes, compared with 42.2 million tonnes in2019. We estimate that imports of steam coal will amount to 17.5-22.5 million tonnes."

The decline would mark the fifth consecutive year imports have dropped and would be steeper than the 10.2% year-on-year decrease seen in 2019. Steam coal imports have already fell sharply from 43 million tonnes back in 2016 as the share of coal in the German power mix declined. Coal plants only provided 6.4% of German electricity in the first half of 2020 down from 9.9% a year earlier, while the share of gas increased from 14% to 16%. Renewables accounted for 50% of German power with the remainder coming from lignite and nuclear.

German parliament approved the coal exit law in June with a first coal closure for compensation auction for 4 GW planned for September. The coal exit law caps hard-coal capacity at 15 GW by 2022 and 8 GW by 2030. Around 8 GW of German coal plant are in the higher 45% efficiency category including Uniper's new, 1.1-GW Datteln 4 coal plant commissioned in May as Germany's last coal plant.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Tue, 21 Jul 2020
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