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Record Carbon Not Enough to Curb Germany’s Dirtiest Power Plants

  • Output from lignite increases, spurred by higher power prices
  • Average day-ahead power prices 77% higher so far this year
Lignite Power Generation as Europe's Largest Economy Plans Fossil Fuel Phase Out
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Electricity generated in Germany from lignite, one of the most carbon-heavy fuels, has increased during 2021 spurred by higher power prices.

Even a rally in carbon emission permit prices to record levels hasn’t been enough to curb output from the dirtiest fossil fuel. Electricity generated by lignite plants in Germany has increased by 35% so far this year, compared with same period in 2020, according to data compiled by research institute Fraunhofer ISE.