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Germany’s center of power

Massive towers dominate a power plant under construction in Neurath, Germany, near Grevenbroich, a town that downplays its reputation as the carbon emissions capital of Europe by reminding visitors, with signs around town, that it is also Germany’s energy capital. (Christian Retzlaff / Los Angeles Times)
Demonstrators against the Neurath power plant listen to speeches. Power companies say new, high-efficiency plants could ultimately reduce overall emissions by burning less coal than their predecessors. That depends, though, on shutting down old, dirty plants as new ones come online, and that’s been slow to happen. (Christian Retzlaff / Los Angeles Times)
Smoke billows from a lignite coal plant near Grevenbroich. (Christian Retzlaff / Los Angeles Times)
The lignite plant under construction in Neurath. (Christian Retzlaff / Los Angeles Times)
Lignite is mined from this pit in Garzweiler, near Grevenbroich. In the background is the Frimmersdorf power plant. (NEURATH, GERMANY -MAY 5, 2008--Open cast lignite mining in Garzweiler, near Grevenbroich, Germany. Background: Frimmersdorf lignite power plant. Photo by Christian Retzlaff, taken on April 24, 2008)