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RWE and LEAG closure: Seven coal-fired power stations have been closed

RWE and LEAG closure: Seven coal-fired power stations have been closed

RWE and LEAG are turned off
Seven units of coal-fired power plants have been closed

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Germany must work to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while ensuring energy security. Although the balance is difficult to achieve, it is now possible to close seven particularly harmful coal-fired power stations. It's not just people in Germany who benefit from this, says a Green Party politician.

On Easter, many coal-fired power plants in Germany stopped operating. A total of seven brown coal power plants in the Rhine Mining Region and in Brandenburg have been closed, as confirmed by the energy companies RWE and LEAG.

The closure of all blocks has already been planned earlier. In order to save natural gas for electricity generation during the energy crisis, the federal government took five blocks from the so-called supply reserve. Two other blocks were allowed to continue operating beyond the originally planned closing date. At the end of winter 2023/24 it will finally be over. The network agency does not see any weakness in security of supply as a result of the closures.

The Niederaußem and Neurath power plant blocks in the Rhine region have been taken out of security alert. They belong to the energy company RWE. In the Lusatia region, blocks E and F of the Jänschwalde power station, belonging to the energy company LEAG, were returned. There were also two additional units of the RWE Neurath power plant, whose operation was extended.

Huge emissions from coal combustion

“In light of the worsening climate crisis, closing coal-fired power plants is an important measure to reduce greenhouse gases,” explained Green Party member of the Bundestag Kathrin Heenberger. The current closure is “a major success for climate justice and occurs in the knowledge of the historic and global responsibility to achieve our climate goals.” Henneberger said that emissions from burning coal in Germany are historically “enormous” and are among the main causes of the climate crisis.

Phasing out hard coal also means ending imports from regions where hard coal mining has been linked to serious human rights violations and environmental destruction for decades. In Colombia, for example, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities were the most affected. In addition to forced displacement and water shortages, they are also affected by the health consequences of the mines.

The Federal Ministry of Economy is legally obliged to verify the amount of additional greenhouse gases emitted from the continued operation of coal-fired power plants. It must propose measures by the end of June to offset these additional emissions.

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