“Twilight of coal in the Ruhr region”
The dwindling profitability of coal power plants brings financial difficulties for many municipalities in Germany’s most populated region, the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Guido M. Hartmann writes in Welt am Sonntag. Municipal utilities from Dortmund, Essen, and other major cities in the region bought energy provider STEAG a few years ago for 1.2 billion euros, when “good money could be made with coal power plants”, Hartmann writes. “But times have changed,” he says, explaining that the shrunk dividend from coal power deprives municipalities of a way to balance write-offs in other sectors, such as the expensive maintenance of public transport systems.
See the CLEW factsheet Small but powerful – Germany’s municipal utilities for more information.