Germany: energetician Rwe will close his coal power plants by 2030

The first electricity producer across the Rhine is advancing his closure plans in the Rhenish mining basin, regular target of actions of environmental activists against the extension of giant open-air mines,

Le Monde with AFP

Long one of the biggest emitters of Co 2 in Europe, the German energy giant Rwe (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk-Rhine-Westphalia power plant) announced on Tuesday on Tuesday on Tuesday on Tuesday on Tuesday October 4, wanting to stop the production of coal electricity by 2030 in the Rhine mining basin, advancing its plans by eight years. “We are going to put an end to the production of electricity in Lignite in 2030, twice as quickly as expected,” said Rwe boss Markus Krebber, during a press conference.

This decision occurs while the government of Olaf Scholz, which aims to be on the front line of the energy transition in Europe, was forced to temporarily extend the activity of several coal -fired power plants to deal with the energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The maintenance of several power plants until the spring of 2024 does not call into question the objective that the coalition was set out from the coal in 2030.

The announcement Tuesday of RWE, the first producer of electricity in Germany, aims to embody the will of the Social Democratic Chancellor, who governs with environmentalists and the liberals, to hold the calendar. The energy crisis, linked to the drying up of Russian gas which makes prices flambé, “concentrates all our attention”, but “the structural crisis of our time (…) is undoubtedly global warming”, hammered Mr. Habeck.

280 million tonnes of co 2 saved

Concretely, three coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 1,000 MWh each will be stopped by the end of the decade in the Rhineland of North Westphalia (RNW), a region of the west of the country regularly target D ‘Actions of environmental activists against the extension of giant open -air coal mines. This will save 280 million tonnes of co 2 , said the Minister of the Economy, Robert Habeck (environmentalist), during this press conference.

In this regard, the inhabitants of Lützerath, a commune in the Rhenish mining basin for a long time convicted to allow the neighboring mine in the open -air Garzweiler to expand, will finally be able to keep their habitat, said the minister of the economy of the RNW region, Mona Neubauer.

In the meantime, RWE power plants will help guarantee the security of electricity supply of the first European economy, hitherto very dependent on Russian gas. Two power plants with RWE lignite, each with a capacity of 600 megawatts, will remain in activity until 2024, when they had to stop operating at the end of 2022, according to the initial plans.

“The faster outing of coal can succeed (…) if we have a massive expansion of renewable networks,” added Mr. Krebber, whose group, who ranked the biggest polluters in Europe in recent years, took the turn of clean energy sources. RWE wants to invest more than 50 billion euros worldwide by 2030 in order to accelerate the energy transition. Some 15 billion euros in investment are planned for Germany, explained the group.

/Media reports.