Germany Uses Coal Fired Power Plants to Brave Winter

A lack of gas from Russia sets fire to coal in Germany.



Coal-fired power plants are Germany’s solution to reduce gas consumption. To save gas and increase the rate of filling underground gas storages (UGS), the authorities will fire up Germany’s coal power plants.

A report by the Germany Ministry of Economy states that “Gas consumption should be further reduced. Instead, more gas should be pumped into underground storage facilities, otherwise there will be a shortage in winter.” Robert Habek, the head of the department, mentioned that it is important to fill the storage facilities to their maximum capacity in the summer and autumn, and it is necessary to implement safety measures to achieve this.

Earlier, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm called on companies around the world that produce oil and gas to increase energy production.

Germany coal power plants

Germany will use coal fired power plants to combat shortage of natural gas.

In a way German has been forced to use coal fired power plants as a result of the sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union (EU). The EU condemned Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and placed severe sanctions on Moscow. Russian authorities responded by cutting off gas supplies to several European nations pushing them into an energy crisis. Last week, a Russian company reduced flows through an important pipeline that supplies gas to Germany. While the company commented that it is due to some unforeseen maintenance issues, EU leaders believe that it is a tactical move by the Russian administration.

Germany had scaled down the usage of coal fired power plants to reduce their carbon footprint. But as winter approaches, the country cannot sit back to see how things play out in the political arena. Habek commented, “That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to lower gas usage. The gas storage tanks must be full by winter. That is our top priority.”

He added, “It’s obviously Putin’s strategy to make us insecure, to drive up prices and divide us. We will not allow that to happen. We will defend ourselves resolutely, precisely and thoughtfully.”

Germany has always relied on Russia to supply gas for its domestic needs. But things took a turn after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While earlier Russia supplied 55% of its total gas, after the conflict, Germany turned to other buyers. Russia was responsible for supplying just 20% of its needs. Natural gas is essential for heating and manufacturing in Germany. The local government has clarified that it will need Russian gas to keep UGS facilities in Germany near 90% capacity by November.

In the meantime, Germany is trying to pass a law that will allow coal plants to generate power. It is expected to pass by next month and the government will try to set plans in place to find alternative means to meet the country’s demands. The country’s industrial lobby revealed that many companies are switching to coal in order to free up gas for storage. They will also try to find sustainable solutions to reduce gas consumption, but these things take time and for now, Germany will have to make do with coal fired power plants.

The government also called upon its citizens to reduce their energy consumption as the county faces strained supplies. Germany is a leader in using renewable energy sources and has been called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy.”  The country mainly relies on wind and biomass, along with solar and hydro power for its energy needs. As of early 2022, Germany covered over 50% of its energy needs using renewable sources of energy. In February, it posted a new record as it covered 62% of its energy needs using renewables. However, as the war with Ukraine progressed, German ministers have highlighted the fact that “the expansion of renewable power sources is happening much too slow.” They have called on the government to remove roadblocks to accelerate the usage and licensing of renewable energy.

Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

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