Country On Green Transition’s Leading Edge Will Fire Up Coal Plants To Meet Demand This Winter

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A country on the forefront of the green transition will put several mothballed coal-fired power plants back online ahead of the upcoming winter, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Germany, which has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to enact the green energy transition, will reactivate several coal-fired units in order to meet peak demand and keep the lights on this winter, Bloomberg reported. The country has experienced elevated and inconsistent energy prices since Russia invaded Ukraine, impacting both German customers and companies.

The German government opted to go ahead with its plans to phase out its last nuclear reactors in April, and the war in Ukraine has resulted in diminished flow of relatively inexpensive natural gas from Russia, according to Bloomberg. German officials have cited safety concerns and a desire to focus on developing green energy as their rationale for shuttering the remaining reactors. (RELATED: ‘Political Suicide’: Germany Will Shutter Nuclear Plants Despite Looming Winter Shortages)

The country needed to rely on coal last winter once the flow of Russian gas had slowed, and supply is likely to be even tighter this winter now that the nuclear reactors are out of the picture, Bloomberg reported. The energy crisis and inconsistencies in the power market have contributed to the decisions of many companies to scale down their operations in Germany and look for more stable, affordable business environments in North America and Asia, according to Politico.

In June, German Economy and Energy Minister Robert Habeck warned that a future energy shortage could produce conditions in which “there is no secure scenario for how things will turn out” for the German economy. Habeck issued his warning ahead of the December 2024 expiration of a natural gas deal between Russia and Ukraine, which allows for Russian gas to flow into Western Europe.

Germany aims to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2045, and the country relied on wind and solar power to provide about 32% of its energy in 2022, according to Statista.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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