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Germany’s coal revival to boost energy change

A 2200 MW coal power plant opened in Cologne is being lauded for aiding Germany’s transition from nuclear power to renewables.

The decision to go with coal as part of Germany’s new energy mix, reports Bloomberg, is driven by the fact coal is less expensive than gas and more reliable than wind and solar, in terms of Germany’s energy security.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government decided last year to shut the 17 nuclear power stations in the country by 2022, which sent the country’s big utility companies slumping down.

Peter Terium, CEO of Germany’s largest utilities RWE, said it will take the firm until 2015 to get its old strength back after the country’s exit from nuclear power, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt, quoted by 4-traders.

In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany’s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not harming Europe’s, and the country’s, economy more by increasing the cost of energy.

He is also worried his country should not become dependent on imports of electricity and, to avoid it, Altmaier has given the green light for twenty-three new coal-fired plants, currently under construction.

The Financial Post reports Germany has also committed to reduce energy use in absolute terms by 10% by 2020, when it has claimed it will produce 35% of its electricity from renewables.