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Germany awards tenders to shut 1.5 GW of coal by December

CoalCO2Power

01 Apr 2021 08:00

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Bonn

Berlin

Frankfurt

01 Apr 2021 08:00

(Montel) Germany’s BNA network regulator has awarded tenders to close 1.5 GW of coal-fired capacity by 8 December under a second round of coal exit auctions, it said on Thursday.

The three successful bids were the hard coal-fired units Wilhelmshaven (757 MW) of utility Uniper; Mehrum (690 MW) of EPH in northern Germany; and Mibrag’s lignite-fired Deuben (67 MW) in the east.

Closure payments totalled EUR 0-59,000/MW, the regulator said, without adding further details.

“The tender was oversubscribed again,” said BNA president Jochen Homann, adding that successful strike prices were well below the round’s cap of EUR 155,000/MW.

Utilities had until 4 January to submit tenders under the mechanism aimed at ensuring Germany phases out coal generation by 2038

Successful bids must halt coal-fired generation within eight months of the publication of tender results with BNA, with 8 December as the final closure date. Network operators use the intervening time to determine the relevance of the plants to supply security.

The Deuben unit is among the oldest fossil fuel-fired units in Germany still in operation and went online in 1936, BNA data showed.

Uniper’s Wilhelmshaven unit has been in operation since 1976 and the company had earlier announced plans to close the unit by 2023

EPH bought the 42-year-old Mehrum unit in 2017 from local utilities.

Third round still open
The first tender was heavily oversubscribed and sealed the retirement of 4.8 GW of coal-fired capacity on 1 January.

A third round of auctions to close a further 2.5 GW next year remains open until 30 April.

Germany aims reduce its fleet of hard coal and lignite-fired capacity to roughly 30 GW by the end 2022, down from 34 GW in the first quarter of 2021.

The lignite-fired units Niederaussem C (300 MW); Neurath B (300 MW); and either Weisweiler E or F (300 MW each) are also set to close this year following a deal between the German government and the plants’ owner, RWE.

Germany is shutting the bulk of its lignite-fired power plants via bilateral deals due to the industry’s concentrated nature.

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