Energy firm RWE says it has reached a deal with the government to bring forward its phaseout of coal to 2030 in order to help achieve climate-protection goals.
German energy giant RWE said on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the government to phase out coal by 2030, bringing forward the target by eight years.
The move speeds up the closure of a number of large fossil fuel-fired power plants.
With EU countries in the midst of a power crisis, the producer said it would have to keep its Neurath D and E power plant units on the grid "to strengthen security of supply." Neurath is a lignite-fired power station situated near the western town of Grevenbroich.
RWE CEO Markus Krebber pointed out the need to maintain the supply while keeping in line with targets to phaseout polluting fuel sources.
"As more coal is needed in the short term, thereby leading to rising carbon dioxide emissions, we will need an earlier coal exit because this is the only way to continue to achieve the country's climate protection goals," Krebber explained at a press briefing.
"Security of supply is the order of the day. At the same time, climate protection remains one of the key challenges of our time. RWE supports both," Krebber said.
"In the current crisis, we are contributing to security of supply in Germany by temporarily increasing the use of our lignite-fired power plants and are thus also helping to displace gas from electricity generation," RWE's CEO said.
The decommissioning of RWE's Neurath D and E power plant unit would be pushed back to March 31, 2024. The process was initially planned to take place at the end of this year.
Germany revives coal-fired power plants
According to the RWE statement, the early exit would have "a major impact" on many employees, with staff reductions expected to accelerate toward the end of the decade.
What this means for coal-producing regions in western Germany