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Old Coal Is King Even With New Renewables Record in Germany

A crane unloads the first shipment of anthracite coal from U.S. supplier XCoal Energy & Resources LLC, for state energy firm Centrenergo PJSC, onto the dockside at Yuzhny Port, near Odessa, Ukraine, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. A Pennsylvania company will send 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine in a deal the administration of President Donald Trump heralded as an important tool to undercut the power Russia has over its European neighbors.
Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg
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For all the new wind parks, solar farms and hydro plants that will help Europe’s biggest economy generate yet another renewable energy record this year, the world’s dirtiest power fuel still rules in Germany and sets the price for how much factories are paying for electricity.

Wind turbines will this year for the first time produce more power than plants burning hard coal as the nation’s unprecedented shift toward renewable energy has pushed output from solar and wind to more than a third of the nation’s total. Yet, it is coal prices at their highest level since 2013 that’s pushing up electricity rates for the first time in six years because of the way the market works.