The former CEO of RWE Innogy, Dr Fritz Vahernholt has backed German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier’s comments on coal fired power plants last week.

Dr Vahrenholt (pictured) told Power Engineering International “It is obvious, that without new flexible gas and coal power plants, Germany’s energy security will suffer from extreme instability.”


  The ex-CEO was responding to a query from PEI on how Germany can marry a commitment to 85 per cent renewable energy by 2050, by using coal power, despite the level of CO2 emissions associated with that fuel source.

  At the launch of Cologne’s new lignite power plant last week, Mr Altmaier said “If one builds a new state-of-the-art lignite power plant to replace several older and much less efficient plants, then I feel this should also be acknowledged as a contribution to our climate protection efforts.

It will not only help to reduce carbon emissions but can also make an outstanding contribution to the success of the energy industry’s transformation.”

Dr Vahrenholt says there is growing recognition of the place fossil fuels have in Germany’s energy future, with new plants being introduced to replace an ageing fleet.

“The mainstream public have not yet come to realise it, but we need new fossil power plants, and the support for this form of power is growing.”

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