Germany turns to coal to underpin energy change

A 2200 MW coal power plant opened in Cologne is being lauded for helping Germany’s transition from nuclear energy to renewables.

Bloomberg reports that the decision to go with coal as part of Germany’s new energy mix is because it is less expensive than gas and more reliable than wind and solar, in terms of Germany’s energy security.

Peter Terium
The switch to coal is a global trend, with the amount of coal burned worldwide rising by 5.4 percent to account for 30 percent of total energy use last year, the highest proportion since 1969, according to BP Plc (BP/) data.

The so-called BoA coal plant near Cologne shows how new fossil fuel plants, which are more efficient than their older models, “not only help to reduce carbon emissions but can also make an outstanding contribution to the success of the energy industry’s transformation,” Environment Minster Peter Altmaier, who was present at the plant’s opening last week, said in a statement distributed by RWE.

RWE ascertain that coal is an important key to energy security as Germany ramps up the share of renewable generation to 35 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.

It can “step in immediately when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining,” RWE CEO Peter Terium (pictured) added.

Environmental groups are concerned about the growing use of coal, as it releases more CO2 than any other fuel.

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