Germany plans to return coal and oil power plants if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies to the country. This was reported by Bloomberg on May 24, citing a decree by German Economy Minister Robert Habek.
According to the agency, Habek will present an emergency decree allowing the government to return facilities in the event of a gas shortage.
According to the publication, Germany is resorting to such measures to support the country’s energy, “even if they lead to a surge in carbon emissions.”
“This request for additional coal-fired electricity generation only occurs when there is a shortage of gas or if there is a threat of a shortage of gas and gas consumption in electricity generation should be reduced,” the proposed law says.
It is noted that the decision to resume the operation of coal-fired thermal power plants can be made despite the Greens’ course to completely abandon the use of fossil fuels. It is noted that the decision on the ban is now wanted to be postponed to 2030.
Bloomberg clarified that Russia’s share of thermal coal imports to the EU is almost 70%, with Germany and Poland particularly dependent on it. As a result, European utilities will have to pay more to get coal from places like South Africa and Australia.
An emergency decree would allow the government to activate coal facilities without parliamentary approval for up to six months.
Earlier, on May 22, the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection proposed to eventually get rid of the state’s gas network for good. State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Patrick Greichen instructed the public utilities to plan the dismantling work. The article says that Greichen motivates the need for such a decision by plans for the transition of the German economy to natural energy sources. The official is sure that by 2045 the Germans will not use gas.
On May 2, the head of the largest German energy concern E.ON, Leonard Birnbaum, predicted that Germany would hardly survive without Russian gas for the next two winters.
Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on April 30 that the country would not pay for Russian gas in rubles, even in the long term. He added that Germany is doing everything possible to become independent of Russian gas and Russia as soon as possible.
Prior to that, on April 22, it became known that the Russian gas embargo would cost Germany €180 billion.
On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the refusal of a number of Western countries from normal cooperation with Russia, as well as from part of Russian energy resources, had already hit Europe and the United States. According to him, prices are rising in the states and inflation is going through the roof.
Against the backdrop of anti-Russian sanctions that were introduced because of the Russian-led special operation to protect Donbass, on March 23, the Russian president announced that the country would switch to paying for gas supplies to unfriendly states in rubles. On March 31, a corresponding decree was signed.