Energy transition: RWE will also shut down three lignite plants at the end of the year

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At the turn of the year, the electricity company RWE will shut down block C of the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant as well as three lignite plants in the Rheinische Revier. The company announced that the 300-megawatt units Neurath B, Niederaußem C and Weisweiler E would be shut down.

“We are consequently continuing to implement the statutory phase-out of nuclear power and coal,” said the CEO of RWE Power, Frank Weigand. According to RWE, the four affected power plant blocks have generated over 400 billion kilowatt hours of electricity since they began operating. This corresponds to Berlin’s electricity needs for over 90 years.

The shutdowns take place within the framework of the statutory schedule. The next shutdowns will follow in 2022: According to RWE, another 300 megawatt block will go offline on April 1 in Neurath. At the end of the year, the group will shut down the two 600-megawatt units at the same location as well as the briquetting in the Frechen factory. In addition, the company will shut down the Emsland nuclear power plant in Lingen.

According to its own information, RWE will shut down power plants with a total output of more than 7,000 megawatts in the period from 2020 to 2022. The company emphasized that this would have a significant impact on the workforce: by the end of 2023, RWE Power in the Rhineland will be shedding around 3,000 jobs in the entire process chain, from opencast mining to maintenance and administration to power generation.

The workforce at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant will decrease from around 600 at the beginning of 2017 to around 440 at the end of 2022. The remaining employees there would still be busy with post-operation and dismantling of the site until the 1930s.

By 2030, the company intends to invest 50 billion euros gross in the expansion of renewable energies, batteries, storage, hydrogen and flexible backup capacities.

Unit C of the nuclear power plant in Gundremmingen, Bavaria, has been in operation since March 1984. Block A was in operation from 1967 to 1977. Unit B, which went online in 1984, was shut down on December 31, 2017, and Unit C – also commissioned in 1984 – is to follow in 2021. (Image:


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