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German utility RWE – owner of Npower in Britain – wants 10 times more compensation to close its ageing German lignite plants than they are worth, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. 

Ostensibly, if market price is the benchmark for compensating the early closure of coal assets, then recent deals indicate that Germany’s coal and lignite power plants and mines have very low value, and therefore ‘make a mockery’ of compensation claims by Germany’s biggest utility under the country’s pending coal phaseout plan.

RWE says it wants to be compensated for the premature closure of its coal plants in line with the most generous pay outs of the past. A public position that ignores the darkening outlook for coal mining and generation, and which pits the company against genuinely affected mining communities for precious taxpayer funds. Good luck with that.