At Easter, several coal-fired power plants in Germany went offline. A total of seven brown coal power plant blocks were shut down in the Rhenish mining district and in Brandenburg, as the energy companies RWE and Leag confirmed.

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

Blocks of the Niederaußem and Neurath power plants in the Rhenish district had been taken out of security standby. They belong to the energy company RWE. In the Lusatian district, blocks E and F were brought back from the Jänschwalde power plant, which belong to the Leag energy company. There were also two further units of the RWE Neurath power plant, whose operation was extended.

Reduction of greenhouse gases

“In view of the worsening climate crisis, the closure of coal-fired power plants is an important measure to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Green Party member of the Bundestag Kathrin Henneberger in a statement. The current shutdown is “a great success for climate justice and is happening in the knowledge of the historical and global responsibility for achieving our climate goals.”

The Federal Ministry of Economics is legally obliged to check how much additional greenhouse gas was emitted by the continued operation of coal-fired power plants. It must propose measures by the end of June to offset these additional emissions.