RWE, a German energy company, will burn more coal in the near future, according to its chief financial officer, who also insisted that the company’s long-term plans to be carbon neutral are still in place.
The comments from Michael Muller come as the war in Ukraine rages on and European nations struggle to secure their energy supplies.
According to Eurostat, Russia was the EU’s top supplier of natural gas and crude oil in 2017. Since Western nations imposed sanctions on the Kremlin as a result of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the flow of natural gas to Europe has been significantly reduced.
ALSO READ: Investors believe that oil stocks are still a good investment, despite the drop in energy prices, .
In order to make up for the lack of Russian gas, Germany, the largest economy in Europe, has decided to recommission some of its coal-fired power plants.
According to Muller, RWE is actively assisting the German government or other European governments in handling the energy crisis. “To handle that situation, we’re also bringing back more coal capacity.”
Three RWE lignite-fired power plants will be brought back online as part of this plan beginning in early October.
Lignite, also referred to as brown coal and thought to be particularly harmful to the environment, “remains a reliable partner to this day,” according to RWE. RWE Power, which concentrates on lignite and nuclear power generation, is also mentioned as extracting millions of metric tons of coal annually.
The company with its headquarters in Essen has stated that it wants to be carbon-neutral by the year 2040, so all of the aforementioned present a challenge.
Coal is a fossil fuel that significantly harms the environment, according to Greenpeace, making it “the dirtiest, most polluting way of producing energy.” Numerous potentially hazardous emissions from burning coal are produced, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates, and nitrogen oxides.
RWE’s Müller stated that the situation is “hopefully a short-term issue where we need to find the security of supply.”
To be very clear, it doesn’t change our strategy, he continued, “but just from a corporate citizen perspective, we feel it is our duty to support the German government in bringing back capacity in the short term.”
Therefore, even though we must burn more coal in the short term, it must be made clear that the development of renewable energy sources must be accelerated in order for us to continue meeting our medium- and long-term goals.
RWE released its first-half 2022 earnings report on Thursday. Adjusted net income was 1.6 billion euros ($1.66 billion), up from 870 million euros in the first-half 2021.
The business claimed that during the first half of 2022, it had invested about 2 billion euros in growing its green portfolio. By the end of 2022, “total investments will reach more than 5 billion [euros],” it continued.
According to the report, improved wind conditions and increased capacity resulted in a 20% increase in the amount of electricity produced from renewable sources during this time frame compared to the first half of 2021.