What kind of new power station for the Netherlands?

This report examines what kind of new electrical power station should be built in the Netherlands, from the perspective of investors and the government. Using an investment model developed specially for this study, it was examined whether the postulate that coal based power stations are economically more viable even when taking CO2 emis-sion trading into account is valid in various different scenarios.The findings were then discussed at a public meeting organised by the Dutch Energy Policy Platform.

Calculations with this dedicated investment model indicate that a coal-fired power station without CO2 sequestration is the most attractive investment option only if the price of CO2 emissions remains as low as at present. With higher CO2 emission prices and a price tag on other emissions, too, a coal-fired station with CO2 sequestration gives the best return on investment. This holds for prices from around € 15 per tonne CO2 upwards.

Comparison of investor and government perspectives shows there are important differences as well as similarities, leading to possible conflicts as well as opportunities for collaboration. When it comes to building a new power station in the Netherlands, the debate is likely to focus on the issue of whether it will be a coal-fired station with no extra environmental provisions, or whether government-enforced constraints will make co-firing of biomass and CO2 sequestration profitable. Further, in-depth debate on this topic is essential.