Germany will this year start up more coal-fired power stations than at any time in the past 20 years as the country advances a plan to exit nuclear energy by 2022.
New coal plants with about 5,300 megawatts of capacity will start generating power this year, the Muenster-based IWR renewable energy institute said in an e-mailed statement today, citing data from the German regulator. About 1,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity are expected to come offline, it said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who shut Germany’s oldest atomic reactors two years ago in response to the Fukushima disaster in Japan, is seeking to replace the remaining nuclear plants with renewable generators and efficient fossil-fired stations. Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, rose 1.6 percent last year as more coal was burned to generate power, the Environment Ministry said two days ago.
“The growth in renewables and the decline in power consumption have already fully bridged the gap opened by the shutdowns of the eight nuclear reactors in 2011,” Norbert Allnoch, head of the IWR, said in today’s statement.