In a demonstration of the failure of Germany’s pursuit of so-called “green energy” and its policy of relying on Russian gas in the meantime, a coal-fired power plant will be reconnected to the nation’s electricity grid.
While the economic powerhouse of Europe — so called — scrambles to secure energy sources before the winter months, the previously shuttered Mehrum coal power plant in Lower Saxony will become the first to once again be connected to Germany’s grid.
On Monday, the manager of the Czech-owned EGH operating company, Kathrin Voelkner said: “We have declared the return to the electricity market. We assume that we will return to the grid in the short term,” according to the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper.
The move was preceded by the federal government implementing an emergency ordinance to allow mothballed oil and coal-powered plants to open back up until April of next year, as the country faces a shortfall in its energy amid the conflict in Ukraine.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a leading member of the German Greens, has described the decision to turn back on coal plants as “bitter” but a necessary evil.
While the government has allowed for the return to coal power, the socialist SPD-led traffic light coalition government has so far refused to abandon its decision to shut its remaining nuclear power plants by the end of the year, a move that followed years of anti-nuclear policies from former Chancellor Angela Merkel following the Fukushima meltdown in Japan.
The co-leader of The Greens, Ricarda Lang has said that a return to nuclear power “will not happen, on our watch at least.”
Lang said that there was a “lack of seriousness” in the debate surrounding nuclear, which she described as a “highly risky technology,” despite nuclear power being one of the safest major energy sources in the world.