Another EU state returns to coal  — Analysis

The energy crisis caused the Netherlands and Austria to join Germany, Austria, and other countries in returning to coal-powered power.

Rob Jetten (Dutch Climate and Energy Minister) announced that all Dutch restrictions on coal-fired power plants will be lifted by the Netherlands to lower natural gas consumption. “urgent appeal”Businesses can save energy in the winter by planning ahead.

The Hague has activated the ‘early warning’ phase of its energy crisis plan, in the face of a potential shortage of natural gas this winter, Jetten said on Monday, adding that the decision had been prepared in coordination “with our European colleagues over the past few days.”

“The cabinet has decided to immediately withdraw the restriction on production for coal-fired power stations,”He was referring to the Dutch rule that all coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands can only operate at 35% of the installed capacity.

“I want to emphasize that at the moment there’s no acute gas shortage,”Jetten acknowledged, however, that “more countries are now being squeezed”Russia 

Germany returns to coal

Robert Habeck from Germany’s Economy Ministry made a similar announcement on Sunday. He stated that Berlin must increase its use of coal in order to offset the Russian shortage of natural gas.

The Austrian government and Verbund agreed to turn a southern Styria-based reserve gas-fired power station into electricity by using coal, in case of an energy crisis.  

These moves follow a decision by Russia’s Gazprom to cut natural gas deliveries to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline by 60% after German maintenance provider Siemens failed to return pumping units after repairs due to sanctions. European officials claimed this decision was purely political and linked to tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

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