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Germany Resurrecting 3 Coal Plants in Quest to Stay Warm this Winter

Germany Resurrecting 3 Coal Plants in Quest to Stay Warm this Winter

German leaders vow they will make up for these evil CO2 emissions in some way. But at least Germans won’t freeze this Christmas.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall a post I wrote around Christmas of last year, noting that Germany was facing the worst winter in a decade as the energy crisis deepened due to dwindling Russian gas supply. At that point, the country’s socialist-led government urged citizens to reduce heating despite record-low temperatures.

I sensed that this move would be met coldly by most Germans. It turns out that the nation’s leadership is taking a slightly different approach this year.

Government officials in Germany have approved a plan to bring some shuttered coal-fired power plants back online in an effort to avoid energy shortages this winter.

Cabinet members on Oct. 4 said they would support putting on-reserve lignite-fired power plants back online from now until the end of March 2024. It’s another move related to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in a drop in imports of Russian natural gas to Germany and much of Europe over the past two years.

Germany reactivated some coal-fired power plants last year, and extended their operating lifespans. Government data showed about 1.9 GWh of electricity was generated from coal last winter. Officials said they will study coal-fired generation this winter and decide next summer on plans to offset increases in carbon emissions. They also said they remain committed to a phase-out of all coal-fired generation in the country by 2030.

The country’s economic ministry said several coal-fired units operated by energy companies RWE and LEAG at their Niederaußem, Neurath, and Jaenschwalde power plants will be temporarily reactivated until March of next year to provide more security for Germany’s electricity supply. Those units also operated last winter due to the reduced supply of natural gas from Russia, and were on standby this past summer.

This news item should be added to the list of green energy dominoes that continue to fail in Europe and the United States (i.e., the closure of 3 California fossil fuel-based power plants).

Sweden’s government has ditched plans to go all-in on “green energy,” green-lighting the construction of new nuclear power plants. Fossil fuel giant Shell announced it was scaling back its energy transition plans to focus on . . . gas and oil!  Specific wind farm projects began to topple due to strong economic headwinds because the cost of the electricity to be generated was deemed too high.

German leaders vow they will make up for these evil CO2 emissions somehow.

The government in Berlin also said it will make proposals by summer 2024 on how to offset increased CO2 emissions that the reactivated coal-fired power plants will generate during the winter. It also stressed that it remains committed to phasing out all coal-fired power generation in the country by 2030.

Earlier this year, Germany’s electricity supply was further reduced as the country completed its phase-out of nuclear power plants, taking its last three remaining facilities off the grid. The shutdown spelled the end of the 60-year nuclear era in Germany.

I wish them tons of good luck with their goals of weaning themselves away from fossil fuels yet maintaining a sound and healthy economy, especially when they have decided to nix any use of the highly energy-productive nuclear options.

Let’s compare these numbers to less favored and privileged energy sources.

  • Coal is a remarkably dense energy source: A single metric ton of coal can produce up to 1,927 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In the United States, 52% of the electricity comes from coal generation. A typical coal fired power plantcan produce 109 kWh/year (1,000,000,000 kWhr/year) of power, the plant burns 14,000 tons of coal every day.
  • Nuclear energy takes production up a notch, so the units are in megawatts (1 million watts).  As an example of potential capacity, one example reactor operates at 582 MW capacity for 24 hours, and generate 13,968 megawatthours (MWh) during this time. IDuring the year, it would create 5,098,320 MWh.


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Merkel killed Germany- just that its death is going to play out slowly.

I just wish Nazi Germany (and it will always be Nazi Germany) does as horrible and as bloody a death as they imposed on the Jews.

    Eric R. in reply to Eric R.. | October 10, 2023 at 7:17 am

    Dies, not does.

    nordic prince in reply to Eric R.. | October 10, 2023 at 7:47 am

    Not all Germans are Nazis.


      Yes they are. Forever, and all time. Are you going to excuse the Nazis of Gaza that way too? And I don’t just mean Hamas. I mean the population that supported them, the population that sent their sons to exterminate Jews, the population that celebrated and sh*t on (literally) the bodies of dead Jews?

      Should we spare those monsters too? Even if they are not wearing uniforms?

        nordic prince in reply to Eric R.. | October 10, 2023 at 11:23 am

        Your condemning entire peoples based on stereotypes, whether outdated or not, is vile.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Eric R.. | October 10, 2023 at 3:02 pm

        I agree that the people of Gaza are complicit in the attacks on Israel, because they support Hamas, and/or have done nothing to depose them. A people are responsible for the acts of their leadership (even in non-democratic countries, were the people have a duty to revolt against lawless leadership).

        OTOH, there is effectively nobody left alive today in Germany who, as an adult, supported or was responsible for the Nazi leadership of that country. So while I do support the idea that people are responsible for the acts of their leadership, I do not support the idea that a people are forever condemned for the acts (or lack of action) of their ancestors and antecedents.

          guyjones in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 10, 2023 at 11:19 pm

          Right. Unless the sons and daughters are perpetuating the mistakes and moral failures of their parents, I don’t believe in inherited guilt. It’s not an equitable or rational way of thinking.

    Communist Germany. Communist. They have a better P.R. department than the nazis ever did, and you appear to have swallowed all their BS hook, line, sinker.

    guyjones in reply to Eric R.. | October 10, 2023 at 11:21 pm

    This is not a rational or morally just way of thinking. Very few people currently alive in Germany were complicit in the Holocaust.

How quickly we forget…

𝕍𝕠𝕚𝕔𝕖𝕆𝕗𝕋𝕙𝕖𝔽𝕠𝕣𝕘𝕠𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕟 🇬🇧 🇿🇼
Jul 28, 2022
Watch the Germans laughing at Trump after he says the country could become totally dependent on Russian energy and today Germans impose cold showers and energy-saving measures m.

I wonder how they will ‘make up for’ all those carbon emissions? Restrict driving in the summer maybe?

    CommoChief in reply to Whitewall. | October 10, 2023 at 8:39 am

    More like the loss of manufacturing. Without cheap energy the domestic German manufacturers can’t remain competitive. They will shift more plants overseas to save on the transportation costs, get cheap labor and less regulatory hassles. German manufacturers were only able to avoid the route the US manufacturing sector has been on for 3 decades b/c of cheap energy.

Yes, Trump pointed out the obvious paradox:

If the Russians are your trusted friends, you don’t need NATO

If the Russians are NOT trusted friends, you shouldn’t allow your economy to become dependent on them.

Side note: History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes – In WWII the Germans betrayed the Russian’s trust… well turn-about and all that.

    Whitewall in reply to Hodge. | October 10, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Trump being right is more than German pols can stand. It is a case of what to do when the ‘wrong person (people) are right.’.

All Germany has to do is enact a cap and trade scheme and trade carbon credits with itself. Once they establish it, they can state they planned on building three additional coal plants and shelved the idea. They can then trade the offset of not building the three coal plants against the ones they are opening and, just like that, emission accomplished. Einfach!

Don’t like fossil fuel? Go nuclear. It’s the future, baby!

    henrybowman in reply to LB1901. | October 10, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    Ha ha ha ha! As if you didn’t know that they just got done shutting down several perfectly-good nuke plants… just to be Green!

Cold temperatures are a powerful motivator.

Q: What did Germans use before candles?
A: Light bulbs!

Germany doesn’t need more coal plants. Just put another sweater on any they’ll be OK.

    DaveGinOly in reply to LeftWingLock. | October 10, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Generally, I prefer the cold. You can always put on another layer. When it gets hot, there are only so many layers you can take off.

      And when that extra layer isn’t enough and the lack of supply of energy means you can’t heat your house, how will you feel at 3 am as you shiver awaiting with hope that the sun might bring the temperatures up a bit?

I wish them tons of good luck with their goals of weaning themselves away from fossil fuels yet maintaining a sound and healthy economy, especially when they have decided to nix any use of the highly energy-productive nuclear options.

Don’t forget the elites want to depopulate the planet. They probably don’t have all the pieces of the slaughter they need quite yet.

Idiots, Merkel included. I’ll bet nuclear power derived from those now-closed plants is looking really good, right about now.

if coal was not meant to be used why is it so abundant