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15 Dec 2021, 12:09
Sören Amelang

Germany chooses three more coal plants to go offline by 2023 in fourth exit tender

Clean Energy Wire

A large hard coal power station and two small-scale combined heat and power plants in Germany are set to stop selling electricity by May 2023 as part of the country's coal exit. In the fourth coal exit tender, the grid agency BNetzA accepted three bids with a combined volume of 532 megawatts (MW), surpassing the tendered capacity of 433 MW. "The fourth tender round is also an important step for the coal phase-out. Due to the high level of participation in the process, the round was again oversubscribed," the agency's head, Jochen Homann, said.

A hard coal plant operated by utility Uniper with a capacity of 510 MW is by far the largest station to be retired in this auction round. In addition, two small combined heat and power stations used by industry with a capacity of 14 MW and 8 MW were also accepted. These will switch to another fuel, according to BNetzA. As compensation to retire the plants, operators will receive between 75,000 euros per MW, the lowest successful bid, and 116,000 euros per MW, the highest successful bid. As a final step, transmission grid operators check whether the successful plants are relevant to the stability of the power system – only if this is not the case will they be permitted to retire entirely.  

Germany officially plans to phase out coal power by 2038 at the latest, but the new government has said it wants to pull forward that target, "ideally" to 2030. The next coal exit tender will take place in March 2022.

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