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28 Jun 2019, 12:34
Julian Wettengel

2018 heat wave affected power plants, supply security not in danger – German govt

Clean Energy Wire

Due to the 2018 heat wave in northern Europe, some German power plants had to throttle generation due to a lack of cooling water or supply of fuel, such as hard coal, but electricity supply security was not in danger, writes the German government in its reply to a parliamentary inquiry by the Green Party. Still, Julia Verlinden, energy policy spokesperson for the Greens’ parliamentary group, said the situation had shown that Germany’s fossil and nuclear power supply is “anything but weatherproof. Our energy supply will only be secure, independent and climate-friendly in the long term with a mix of renewable energy sources and storage technologies,” she said in a statement.

The exceptionally dry weather in 2018 led to very low water levels in the River Rhine, Germany’s most important river, causing severe shipping interruptions that cut countless companies off from supplies, including hard coal power stations. Researchers have said low water levels on the Rhine River could occur more frequently as a result of climate change. Also, the river is critical to moving coal, car parts, food and thousands of other goods, and its low water levels contributed to the German economy growing less than expected in 2018.

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