We’ll have to burn additional coal in the short time period, CFO of RWE says

An excavator photographed at a lignite mine operated by RWE on April 8, 2022. RWE says it needs to be carbon impartial by 2040.

Alex Kraus | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The chief monetary officer of German power agency RWE advised CNBC Thursday that it’s going to burn extra coal in the short time period — however insists its plans to be carbon impartial in the future stay in place.

Michael Muller’s feedback come as European nations scramble to shore up power provides, as the struggle in Ukraine continues.

Russia was the largest provider of each petroleum oils and pure gasoline to the EU final 12 months, in accordance to Eurostat. It has considerably lowered flows of pure gasoline to Europe after Western nations imposed sanctions on the Kremlin consequently of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Germany — Europe’s largest economic system — has determined to recommission some of its coal-fired energy vegetation in order to compensate for its lack of Russian gasoline.

“RWE is actively supporting the German government, or European governments, in managing the energy crisis,” Muller advised CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche. “So we’re also bringing back additional coal capacity to manage that situation.”

This plan will contain three of RWE’s lignite-fired energy stations being introduced again to the grid from the begin of October.

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RWE says lignite, also referred to as brown coal and regarded notably unhealthy for the atmosphere, “remains a reliable partner to this day.” It provides that RWE Power — which focuses on lignite and nuclear energy era — extracts tens of millions of metric tons of coal annually.

All of the above represents a hurdle for the Essen-headquartered enterprise, which has stated it needs to be carbon-neutral by the 12 months 2040.

A fossil gasoline, coal has a considerable impact on the atmosphere and Greenpeace has described it as “the dirtiest, most polluting way of producing energy.” Coal combustion produces a slew of probably harmful emissions, together with carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates and nitrogen oxides.

“What is currently happening is … hopefully a short term issue where we need to find the security of supply,” RWE’s Müller stated.

“And that’s why, just from a corporate citizen’s perspective, we feel it is our duty to support the German government in bringing back capacity in the short term — but to be very clear, it doesn’t change our strategy,” he added.

“So while [in the] short term we have to burn additional coal, it needs to be clear that there needs to be an acceleration of building out renewables so that we still meet … targets in the medium and long-term.”

On Thursday, RWE reported earnings for the first half of 2022, with adjusted internet earnings coming in at 1.6 billion euros (round $1.66 billion), in contrast to 870 million euros in the first half of 2021.

The firm stated it had invested roughly 2 billion euros in increasing its inexperienced portfolio in the first half of 2022. “Total investments will come to more than 5 billion [euros] by the end of 2022,” it added.

Electricity era from renewables was round 20% greater in this era in contrast to the first half of 2021, it stated, citing improved wind circumstances and elevated capability.

— CNBC’s Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.


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