October 7, 2022

In a testament to the failure of Germany’s pursuit of so-called “green energy” and its policy of relying on Russian gas in the meantime, a coal-fired power station will be reconnected to the country’s electricity grid.

As Europe’s powerhouse – so-called – tries to secure power sources ahead of the winter months, the previously closed Mehrum coal-fired power plant in Lower Saxony will become the first to be reconnected to Germany’s grid.

On Monday, the director of the Czech operating company EGH, Kathryn Voelkner, said: “We have announced the return to the electricity market. We assume we’ll be back on the grid in the short term.” according in the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper.

The move was preceded by the federal government implementing an emergency order to allow naphthalene and coal-fired plants to operate again by April next year as the country faces a power shortfall amid the conflict in Ukraine.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a leading member of the German Greens, described the decision to return to coal plants as “Bitter” but a necessary evil.

While the government has allowed a return to coal power, the signal coalition government led by the socialist SPD has so far refused to abandon its decision to shut down its remaining nuclear plants by the end of the year, a move that followed years of opposition. -nuclear policies by former chancellor Angela Merkel after the Fukushima meltdown in Japan.

Green co-leader Ricardo Lang has he said that a return to nuclear power “isn’t going to happen, at least in our eyes.”

Lang said there was a “lack of seriousness” in the debate around nuclear, which she described as a “high-risk technology”, despite nuclear power being one of the safer main sources of energy in the world.

“But we need answers that really fit the problem,” the Green politician continued. “We have a heat problem, not an electricity problem,” he claimed, despite the fact that gas is still used for power generation.

Others have disputed the government’s anti-nuclear stance, including Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmerhas, who said last week that the green agenda had failed.

“The energy transition with gas as the base load has failed,” he said while calling for the remaining nuclear plants to remain open during the crisis.

Despite long-standing warnings from figures such as former President Donald Trump, the country remains heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas. While Russia has claimed that the current shortfalls in gas shipments are due to technical issues with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, others have suggested that it is retaliation in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

Currently, the biggest concern facing Germany is possible power outages during the winter, which could lead to dangerous situations, especially for the elderly. However, some cities have already started implementing containment measures, including Hanover, which this week became the first major European city to set limits on hot water use in public buildings.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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