Old king coal

Brown coal, lignite, is being extracted from the Jänschwalde opencast mine in Eastern Germany to provide fuel for electric power plants (your report, 29 

Last year, a quarter of the German gross electricity production was from lignite. So what happened to the Green Germany that environmentalists loved, with its forests of wind turbines and solar panels?

One reason is that Germany promised to shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2020 after the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan.

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The other is that the cost of renewable energy is having a serious impact on German industry’s (especially energy-intensive industries) ability to compete in the world market, resulting in the social consequences from rising unemployment. Europe is also importing cheap coal from America.

Looks like “king coal” will be around for a long time, with the resultant increase in CO2 levels. Would someone please tell Britain how futile their green efforts are?

Dan Arnott

St Brycedale Court