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Table 3 Possible futures for coal-fired power plants

From: Transformation pathways of phasing out coal-fired power plants in Germany

Category Impacts/challenges (e.g., for politics) Option for “coal-fired power plants”?
Continued existence in the regime
 (A) Without great changes Market share of renewables and gas technologies on electricity production will increase only slowly, CO2 emission have to be stored No Only limited support for coal by the public, investors/politics
 (B) New design No Limited improvement potential, CCS is out of discussion
Continued existence in a niche
 (C) Nutshell technology Agreement on the period selected coal-fired power plant can be used is needed Yes (for a limited time) Specification on remaining lifetime (e.g., with regard to socially responsible layoff schemes)
 (D) New meaning supporting schemes with focus on capacity are necessary Yes Use of existing coal-fired power plants as backup capacity
(E) Disappearance Public spending on R&D for coal-fired power plant can be cut Yes (in the long term) No significant incentives for investments in new coal-fired power plant