Guide: German public utility company Uniper CEO Andreas Schierenbeck recently said that under suitable conditions, the company may consider shutting down its new coal-fired power plant Datteln4 before the official launch date in 2038.German public utility company Uniper CEO Andreas Schierenbeck recently said that under suitable conditions, the company may consider shutting down its new coal-fired power plant Datteln4 before the official launch date in 2038.
Recently, the German government recently passed a coal export bill. According to the bill, the company will shut down the coal power plant by 2038 at the latest. If the country decarbonizes its industry earlier, it will monitor it and may In 2026, 2029 and 2032, the relevant bills will be revised.
Therefore, Uniper believes that under appropriate conditions, the company will consider closing early to comply with domestic policies.
Germany's last new coal-fired power station
Uniper is controlled by Finland’s Fortum, which focuses on generating electricity from fossil-free energy. The Datteln4 coal-fired power plant with an installed capacity of 1.1 GW was officially put into operation on May 30 this year, which is also the last new coal power plant in operation in Germany.
Although the German government has announced plans to terminate coal-fired power generation in the country, the 1,100 MW Datteln4 power plant owned by Uniper is still located in Datteln in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. The government said last year that as the country moves toward cleaner electricity, it will shut down all 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038.
Although the government plans to shut down at least eight German coal-fired power plants this year. Officials in the North Rhine-Westphalia region said they will continue to use Datteln4 because their environmental impact will be offset by the closure of four other coal-fired power plants in the region.
Last year, the German government and local officials reached an agreement of about 40 billion euros (45 billion US dollars) on the compensation plan for the coal industry. The government said the money will be used to provide workers with "socially responsible solutions," including new jobs, new infrastructure projects, and possible compensation to affected companies.
German coal industry
Government data shows that about 20,000 people work in the lignite (lignite) industry in Germany, of which about 15,000 are in the mining industry and about 5,000 are working in lignite power plants. In contrast, the country has more than 250,000 workers in the field of renewable energy. Germany closed the country's last black coal mine in 2018.
Black coal ranks higher than lignite, which is considered to be the lowest rank coal because of its low carbon content. In 1957, during the heyday of the country’s coal industry, Germany produced 150 million tons of black coal and employed 607,000 miners.
The above-mentioned compensation of 40 billion euros is used exclusively in the German states with brown coal mines and coal-fired power plants: Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg . Currently, about one-third of the country’s electricity comes from coal-fired units.
Germany is also phasing out nuclear power. This plan was implemented after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. The country plans to decommission all remaining nuclear power plants by 2022. There were 17 reactors in operation in the country in 2011.