Germany has fired up a refurbished coal unit to help meet energy needs as the region’s first cold spell takes hold.
(Bloomberg) — Germany has fired up a refurbished coal unit to help meet energy needs as the region’s first cold spell takes hold.
A unit of a power plant in the eastern part of the country — LEAG’s Jänschwalde block F — started generating on Sunday, according to the operator. The facility, which has a capacity of 500 megawatts, was operational last winter, put in reserve in July, and is now fully available in the market to help boost supplies.
Last year’s historic energy crisis forced Germany to temporarily increase its reliance on the dirty fuel after supplies of Russian pipeline gas were shut off. While that poses a setback for the government’s plans to curb harmful emissions, it’s part of its strategy to contain price increases for consumers during the heating season.
The lignite plant’s second unit, block E with another 500 megawatts of capacity, is ready for operation and can also be connected to the power grid within a short time, LEAG said. Economy minister Robert Habeck said in an interview with German broadcaster ARD last week that the government will not need to reactivate old reserve plants in the winter of 2024-2025.
Read More: Germany Can’t Shake Coal Habit as It Fires Up for Winter
A cold snap took hold of northern Europe on Monday, with temperatures plunging below seasonal norms in a first test for the region’s energy infrastructure. That tightened Germany’s grid capacity as demand rises to keep factories running and homes warm.
Spot prices for Monday hit €133.70 per megawatt-hour on Epex Spot SE, the highest price in over a month, also pushed up by low sunshine and wind limiting renewables output.
–With assistance from Todd Gillespie.
(Corrects headline and lead to make clear the unit is not in reserve.)
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