30 Sep 2022, 12:35
Julian Wettengel

Germany’s RWE brings lignite power plants back online to strengthen supply security

Clean Energy Wire

German energy company RWE is set to bring three lignite power plant units in the western part of the country back online in the coming days to help secure power supply during the coming winter, the company said in a statement. The move is part of a scheme by the federal government to temporarily bring back coal plants from the reserves to replace gas-fired units to avoid gas shortages in the coming months. The three lignite units of power plants Neurath and Niederaußem each have a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW). They were awaiting final decommissioning (in 2022 and 2023) in the country’s so-called “security standby” of lignite power plants. Their deployment is initially limited until 30 June 2023, RWE said.

Earlier this week, Germany’s government adopted new regulations allowing for the reactivation of retired lignite plants by October. With natural gas deliveries from Russia falling away, the government is preparing for a winter without sufficient supplies of the fossil fuel it relies on heavily for heating homes. As well as increasing the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and introducing energy saving measures, the government is temporarily reviving coal-fired power stations that have already been or were soon to be retired to replace gas plants.

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