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German energy giant RWE to close its coal plants by 2030

German energy giant RWE to close its coal plants by 2030

German power giant RWE announced on Tuesday that it will close its coal plants by 2030, amid fears that the country’s plans to abandon fossil fuels will be undermined by the ongoing energy crisis.

Russian restrictions on its gas exports to Germany after its war in Ukraine forced Berlin to restart several coal-fired power plants, at least temporarily.

“Since more coal is needed in the short term, which causes an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, we will need an early exit from coal because it is the only way to achieve the country’s climate protection goals,” said the president of RWE, Markus Krebber, at a press conference.

“We as RWE are making an important contribution, we are going to end coal-based generation in 2030 ″, he specified, an advance of eight years in the company’s plans.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who is responsible for energy, said negotiations were ongoing with the operators of Germany’s other coal mines and eight coal-fired power plants.

Climate activist group Fridays for Future said the announcement that Luetzerath will be destroyed and some coal plants temporarily kept online for longer to cover possible power shortfalls was “cynical”. He said that protests against the plan would be organized in various places in Germany.

In parallel with its coal phase-out, RWE said it would expand renewable energy production and build gas-fired power plants capable of burning hydrogen.

RWE, which over the weekend announced the purchase of US company Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, said it is now on a path that is compatible with the 2015 Paris climate agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Germany began phasing out its coal-fired power plants years ago with the intention of phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upset plans when Moscow cut off gas exports to Germany, which Berlin sees as retaliation for its support of Kyiv.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has authorized the restart of 27 plants to help cover power shortages until March 2024. Scholz’s ruling coalition pledged to advance Germany’s coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030 when it was elected last year.

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