Germany shuts down seven brown coal power stations at end of winter

Seven lignite-fired power plant units with a combined capacity of 3.1 gigawatt were finally shut down in Germany at the end of March, after their decommissioning had been postponed due to the energy crisis, news agency dpa reported in an article published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

In order to save natural gas in power generation during the energy crisis, five units were taken out of the security reserve, while two further units were allowed to continue operating beyond the originally planned shutdown date.

All units were allowed to sell their electricity on the wholesale market, which now comes to an end. The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) said that the shutdowns will not impact on the security of supply.

“The closures have been planned and taken into account accordingly in all supply forecasts. Supply security continues to be guaranteed,” a spokesperson told dpa.

In a bid to avert gas shortages due to the energy crisis fueled by Russia’s war on Ukraine, Germany temporarily reopened some recently  decommissioned and other soon-to-be decommissioned coal power plants in 2022 and 2023.

This likely resulted in more CO2 being released during a certain period, while Germany’s total emissions and coal power use declined markedly in 2023.

The news agency wrote that the economy ministry is legally obliged to examine how much additional greenhouse gases have been emitted as a result of the continued operation of coal-fired power plants. The ministry has until the end of June to propose measures to offset these additional emissions.

Clean Energy Wire. Reproduced with permission.

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.