Germany restarts coal power stations
JUNE 20, 2022
By Paul Homewood
I wonder why they don’t just build lots of windmills instead?
The German government will pass emergency laws to reactivate the coal plants as Europe takes steps to deal with reduced energy supplies from Russia.
The announcement on Sunday came as part of a series of measures, including new incentives for companies to burn less natural gas.
Alarm has grown over the prospect of fuel reserves running out as countries cut ties with Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last week the Kremlin reduced flows through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 60pc, as part of an escalating pressure campaign by the Russian President.
On Sunday Robert Habeck, Germany’s economic minister, said: “To reduce gas consumption, less gas must be used to generate electricity. Coal-first power plants will have to be used more instead,”
The minister, a member of the Greens party, added that bringing back coal-first power plants was “painful, but it is a sheer necessity”.
Under the plans, Germany will rely more on its coal plants to produce electricity, with a bill to be discussed in the upper house of the country’s parliament in early July. It is expected to quickly enter law afterwards.
Mr Habeck said that the German government is prepared to take further action if needed.
He added: “That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to reduce gas consumption. We must and we will do everything we can to store as much gas as possible in the summer and fall,”
The move comes after Siegfried Russwurm, president of Germany’s BDI lobby group, said in an interview on Saturday that Germany needed to get coal-fired plants out of reserve “immediately”.
Meanwhile, a new auction system will be introduced to encourage industrial companies to save fuel, which can then be transferred to storage.
A German government source told Reuters the support would also include €15bn (£12.8bn) of support for the country’s gas market operator to fill storage facilities more quickly.
Mr Habeck said: “Security of supply is currently guaranteed. But the situation is serious.
“Gas consumption must fall further, and in return more gas must be put into the storage facilities, otherwise things will really get tight in the winter.”