Eastern German lignite power plants from reserve needed next winter – econ min
Clean Energy Wire
Germany will likely need several lignite power units that had been brought back online from reserve during the energy crisis last year also for the coming winter, economy minister Robert Habeck said at a press conference. In view of the gas supply situation and the difficulties surrounding the installation of new LNG import infrastructure on the island of Rügen, the country will need additional capacities in winter, such as the eastern German lignite units, the Green Party minister said. “I expect that we will use them again in winter [2023/2024].”
During the energy crisis, Germany had decided to temporarily allow lignite power plants that had already been in a reserve to re-enter the market and produce electricity. The rules are currently scheduled to expire by the end of June, but could be extended by ministerial decree, Habeck said.
Habeck visited the lignite mining state of Brandenburg for talks with state premier Dietmar Woidke about the coal exit in mining region Lusatia. Germany’s ruling coalition of SPD, Green Party and FDP had decided to pull forward the country’s coal exit “ideally” to 2030 from the current target of 2038. However, especially the eastern German states have opposed the plans, and Habeck refrained from demanding the target be reached. “The question is whether we stay at ‘38, whether we can bring it forward a bit and whether we reach 2030. I am patient,” he said, but added that the federal government would create the necessary conditions. “I don't think we'll be so far apart in the end,” he said. Analysts and energy politicians have long argued that, due to increased prices in the European CO2 trading system, an earlier coal exit is very likely because the majority of coal power plants will not be profitable after 2030.