German energy supply secure, coal plants not needed, says minister


German Economy Minister Robert Habeck says the nation’s power supply is more independent than before the energy crisis and is secure even after several coal-fired power plants have been shut down.

“That means several coal-fired power plants that were still on the grid as a precautionary measure over the last two years are superfluous and can be taken off the grid for good,” he told dpa on Monday.

The prices for electricity and gas have fallen significantly and the expansion of renewable energies means that “the majority of electricity now comes from clean, climate-friendly sources,” said Habeck.

Several of Germany’s coal-fired power plants were shut down at the end of March. Seven lignite-fired power plant units were shut down in the Rhenish mining area and in Brandenburg, energy companies RWE and Leag confirmed on Sunday.

A further eight medium-sized and smaller hard coal plants with a total capacity of 1.3 gigawatts were permanently taken off the grid, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, citing the Federal Network Agency.

These plants were temporarily producing electricity to help reduce gas consumption over the past two years, as Germany rapidly sought alernative energy to Russian gas supplies after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.

The power plants were originally due to be decommissioned sooner but several coal-fired power plant units were allowed to run longer than planned or taken out of reserve to generate power after the war began in February 2022 and reduce consumption of natural gas, long supplied cheaply by Russia.


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