Home Energy system German coal-fired power plant closes after just six years to generate wind power

German coal-fired power plant closes after just six years to generate wind power

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Going green is paying off, if you can believe it.

A coal-fired power station in Hamburg that generates 1,600 MW was permanently closed on July 7, according to a local information service, barely six years after its initial opening. And, the owner of the Moorburg plant, Vattenfall, aims to pursue a new hydrogen project at the same site, designed to turn offshore wind power into green hydrogen.

And it will significantly reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

German coal company chooses to close early for a price

The company participated in the German government’s decommissioning payment to submit to an early shutdown, ceasing operation of the market at the end of 2020 and remaining operational only as a safeguard for other energy sources. This strand is part of a larger initiative of the German government in accordance with the a coal exit law which requires every coal-fired plant to cease operations by 2038. Lignite (or lignite) plants face a strict timetable for shutdowns, but coal-fired and small lignite-fired plants may participate in the country’s bidding option, potentially closing early for a price if it is financially preferable to continue to generate electricity through fossil fuels.

NGO Robin Wood has said that the Moorburg shuttering will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 9 million tonnes (about 8 million metric tonnes), but dissenting critics have suggested that Germany would do its best to shut down older, more environmentally harmful factories first. In contrast, the owner of the Moorburg plant, Vattenfall, saw a drop in profits of the power plant, in particular in the context of the increase in the price of CO2 emissions under the European Emissions Trading System, which applies to all operators of coal-fired power plants. Therefore, Vattenfall chose to take the tender and opt for early downgrading.

In the wake of Germany’s and the EU’s greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, the discourse has intensified around the possibility of reviewing the coal exit agreement, in order to impose a faster exit date for the closure of coal-fired power plants. While this may be appropriate, it is also a reminder of how quickly European countries are moving away from carbon-intensive energy infrastructure. This is a powerhouse that lasted barely longer than a US presidential term – virtually unheard of for power plants in general, which are naturally built to last much longer.

Germany takes giant leaps towards green energy goals

As for the conversion of the Moorburg plant into a green hydrogen plant from offshore wind power, the project is expected to start in 2025, and it will be one of the largest hydrogen plants in all of the world. Europe, according to Vattenfall, in a report of Clean energy wire. The company also said the now defunct coal-fired power plant had “the infrastructure necessary for large-scale production of hydrogen from renewable energies such as offshore wind,” the company said. German director of Vattenfall, Christian Barthélémy, in the report.

In addition, the project could “demonstrate to Europe and the world that the hydrogen economy is real and can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the energy system and heavy industry,” added the director of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kentaro Hosomi in the HAVE report. This makes Moorburg one of the first coal-fired power plants to opt for Germany’s fast-closing tender, and it brings the country closer than ever to commissioning its power generation capacity. coal-fired electricity by 2038 at the latest.

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