Germany will restart coal-fired power plants in order to conserve natural gas, the country’s economy minister announced on Sunday, amid concerns about a looming supply shortage after Russia cut gas deliveries to Europe this week. Germany has relied heavily on energy imports from Russia for decades. Last year, Russian imports accounted for 55 percent of the country’s natural gas supply. But after Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Berlin began purchasing gas from Norway, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates, reducing its purchases from Russia by about 20 percent. A law allowing a return to the use of coal in power generation is expected to pass next month. Last week, Germany’s powerful industrial lobby, the Federation of German Industry, said that companies were already switching to coal, as part of efforts to make more natural gas available for storage.
By Melissa Eddy. New York Times. June 19, 2022.