October 23, 2015 / 3:16 PM / 4 years ago

RWE to shift 1.5 GW of capacity to Germany's new coal reserve

DUESSELDORF, Germany, Oct 23 (Reuters) - German utility RWE will shift power plants capable of generating 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity to the country’s coal-fired reserve between 2017 and 2019, a spokeswoman for RWE said on Friday.

Germany in July abandoned plans for a levy on coal-fired power plants and instead decided to pay companies to shift power capacity to a coal-fired reserve to safeguard its 2020 carbon-reduction targets.

In total, some 2.7 gigawatts of power generation from brown coal, equivalent to the output from five power plants, will be closed but retained as reserve power in case of emergency.

The capacity that RWE is including in the plans - two power plant blocks in Frimmersdorf, two in Niederaussem and one in Neurath - are to be shut down four years after the shift, the RWE spokeswoman said, confirming an earlier report by Dow Jones.

Germany’s Economy Ministry declined to comment.

Germany is boosting renewable energy production and phasing out nuclear energy. It has also set a target of reducing its 2020 carbon emissions by 40 percent versus 1990 levels.

Coal accounts for about 44 percent of Germany’s power generation compared with about 27 percent from renewable sources. (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Holmes)

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