17 Sep 2021, 12:36
Kerstine Appunn

Energy company RWE says prepared to phase out coal-fired power generation earlier

Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel Online

German energy company RWE is ready to close down its coal-fired power stations earlier than prescribed by the country’s coal exit law, CEO Markus Krebber told Spiegel Online. RWE wouldn’t claim further compensation payments for shutting the plants before 2038, he said, but it would be essential that renewable power sources are expanded faster and more consistently. RWE is pursuing pure green power production, Krebber added. "And if we still have to stick to old technologies, such as coal, it is because we are not making as much progress with new energies as we would like.” He said the next German government would have to make “all the important decisions” on climate and energy policy during the first half of the legislative period.

Germany’s coal exit legislation, passed in 2020, foresees a staggered phase-out of coal-fired power stations, with the last lignite-fired plant to go offline in 2038. According to this schedule, RWE’s last lignite plant would have to be retired in 2038. While some experts and politicians count on an earlier coal exit with the help of rising CO2 prices, which make fossil energy more and more expensive, others are adamant that the next government will have to bring the exit date forward.

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