An 875 MW reserve coal-fired power plant Heyden 4, operated by Uniper, will again produce electricity for the market, from August 29 probably until the end of April 2023, to help Germany get through the upcoming winter amid the gas crisis.
Heyden 4 ended commercial operations at the end of 2020, and was slated for permanent shutdown on July 8, 2021, Uniper said. However, in June that year it was declared “systemically relevant” and became a reserve plant instead, according to a statement from Uniper, a German-based multinational energy company.
Heyden 4 became a reserve power plant in mid-2021
The company said that Heyden 4 could remain on the market for another year if deadlines under Germany’s law aimed securing energy supply are extended.
Russian gas crisis makes Europe restart old coal power plants
As natural gas shortages loom due to the war in Ukraine and reduced deliveries to Europe from Russia, the EU’s plans to phase out coal are being put on hold. Retired coal-fired plants are being fired up again, while closures of thermal power stations are being cancelled and open-cast mines are getting back to business.
In Austria, state-controlled energy utility Verbund was preparing to restart its Mellach coal plant, but the attempt was rejected in parliament. The facility was switched to reserve over two years ago in a move advertised as ending coal use in the country. At the same time, the United Kingdom is postponing the closure of most of its coal power capacities, scheduled for this year.
The crisis is threatening decarbonization efforts in the Balkans
Such developments are threatening efforts in the Balkan region, as well as around the world, to phase out coal and decarbonize energy production.