RWE Generation SE
Draft law coal phase out ill judged
Deadline 2025 not appropriate
Amer and Eemshaven crucial in energy transition
RWE is confounded by the draft law that was announced today by the minister of Economic Affairs and Climate. The proposed law foresees the ban of coal in Dutch power plants by 2025 for plants built in the 1990’s and 2030 for those built recently. Those built recently were specifically requested by the Dutch government . The 2030 deadline was expected as part of the Coalition Agreement presented last in October 2017, however the 2025 deadline is a new development.
RWE is committed to the CO2 reduction target of the Dutch Government. However it believes that energy politics should be a balance of security of supply, affordable energy prices, sustainability and providing a stable and reliable investment climate. Today’s proposed measures are not part of a comprehensive energy policy and will not lead to the reduction of CO2 on a European level. It is an ill judged step in the movement towards a cleaner energy future.
RWE runs two power plants that are affected by the draft law; Eemshaven will have to stop coal generation in 2030 and Amer in 2025. Both power plants may continue to operate after the respective deadlines, but are not allowed to use hardcoal. They are highly flexible and efficient coal plants, able to provide backup and help stabilize the grid in the future energy system; balancing the increasing volatile production of wind and solar power. Amer and Eemshaven power plants help maintain security of supply and keep electricity affordable. RWE is receiving SDE+ subsidies for the co-firing of biomass, which the minister said will be respected.
The company foresees significant impact on its business by todays announcement. Currently no compensation is planned for the ban on operating the plants according to the granted permits. This is despite the fact that RWE built the Eemshaven power plant at the specific request of the Dutch government, investing €3.2 billion going into operation in 2015. RWE will now analyse the proposed law carefully. If the law is imposed as proposed, the company will assess the possibility of taking legal action.