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No capacity for coal: Brussels boosts gas-fired power plants“The Brussels decision is an important step toward more climate protection”


The European Commission, Parliament and the EU Council have agreed on new conditions for capacity mechanisms in the electricity market, and strengthened the role of natural gas as a partner for renewables. What is clear is that it will only be possible in the future to retain power plants as backup in capacity mechanisms that emit less than 550g of CO2 per kilowatt hour of electricity generated. As, for example, gas-fired power plant.

“The Brussels decision is an important step toward more climate protection. It would be paradoxical to use coal-fired power plants as a backup for clean renewable energies,” is how Wintershall CEO Mario Mehren commented on the decision: “Natural gas can contribute to more climate protection, but this requires laying some important groundwork. The Brussels decision clearly shows that only power plants with lower CO2 emissions, in other words, gas-fired power plants, have a future.”

Specifically, the decision means that power plants producing more than 550 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour should not receive any remuneration for categorically retaining power plant capacities. In the event of supply bottlenecks, these power plants would be switched on flexibly to guarantee a reliable power supply despite, for example, fluctuating renewable energies. The limit of 550 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour excludes coal-fired power plants from capacity mechanisms. Modern gas-fired power plants, however, emit less CO2 and are therefore available for such mechanisms.