In a recent report released by RWE, the second largest electricity producer in Germany, the company has confirmed it is planning to withdraw 3.1 gigawatts of fossil fuel generating capacity from the electricity market.
RWE maintains that because there is a growing amount of renewable energy in Germany’s energy mix, wholesale energy prices have declined, so the company would be losing money if it had to sell power at the lower prices. A RWE statement explains, “Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate. During the first half of 2013, the Conventional Power Generation Division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds”.
The fossil fuel plants that are being talked about are not new plants, they are power plants that have already paid back the initial investment of building them, so it goes to show just how unviable they have become in the emerging era of renewable energy. Building new fossil fuel plants is all but out of the question these days.
Image CC licensed by Jim Winstead: Rooftop solar panels in Germany.