Research and analysis

Poyry report to DECC: Outlook for new coal-fired power stations in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain

An independent report from Poyry on the outlook for new coal-fired power stations in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.



This report aims to provide us with a better understanding of the economic, policy and regulatory environment for coal-fired generation in other EU Member States with particular emphasis on the development of new coal plants.

Key points from the report are:

  • there are new coal and lignite plants currently under construction in Germany and the Netherlands (including 10 in Germany and 3 in the Netherlands);
  • in Germany, these plants were all brought forward prior to the current European economic crisis and when new plants were expected to get free EU ETS allowances in Phase III (something that has now been overruled). The construction and commissioning of these 10 projects was then delayed due to technical issues with the boiler design. Poyry’s analysis suggests coal faces diminishing load factors in Germany due to renewable energy policies which give dispatch priority to renewables, and Poyry do not expect to see additional unabated coal and lignite projects coming forward in Germany.
  • in the Netherlands, final investment decisions for the three plants currently under construction were also made prior to the economic crisis. Poyry further notes that the Netherlands’ electricity system is already greatly oversupplied, so the outlook for these plants is uncertain.
  • in Spain, Poyry notes economic conditions do not encourage the construction of any new coal plant.