Germany reserves coal power capacity in case of Russian gas supply disruption

sxcoal.com International,  Thermal Power 2022-05-27 08:35:37

Germany plans to place a portion of its coal- and oil-fired power plants that were scheduled to be shut down on capacity reserve to ensure normal power supply in case of a sudden disruption of Russian gas supplies, according to a decree recently drafted by the Ministry of Economics.


The decree intends to retain a total of more than 10 GW of hard coal, lignite and oil-fired power plants, so that these plants can be started up instantly.


This means that the nation can continue to use coal-fired power plants as needed for a short period of time. If the proposed decree is passed, these plants could continue to operate until March 31, 2024.


Germany has long relied on Russian natural gas supplies to replace coal in order to meet its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. natural gas accounts for 15% of Germany's electricity mix in 2021, and most of that gas is imported from Russia.


When a new government, run by a coalition of Germany's Social Democrats, Greens and FDP, came to power last December, the country significantly moved up its coal abandonment timetable, from the previously planned 2038 to 2030. But now, faced with a potential gas shortage, Germany is having to pay coal-fired power plant operators up to 1 billion euros a year to keep the plants on standby.


Legislation passed by the German parliament this month paves the way for the construction of four liquefied gas receiving terminals on the northern coast, with two floating ones set to be completed by the end of this year. Germany is also accelerating its LNG imports from countries such as Qatar, Senegal and the United States.


Germany has now reduced its share of gas from Russia to about 35% from 55% at the beginning of the year, and has made even faster progress in oil and coal, where the shares have fallen to 12% and 8%, respectively. Germany will phase out Russian oil and coal by late summer.


In its annual report on Germany this week, the International Monetary Fund warned that Russia's cuts in gas supplies are the biggest threat to the German economy.


(Writing by Alex Guo  Editing by Tammy Yang)
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