Big Backpedal: A Week After Shutting its Coal-Fired Plants Germany Forced to Reopen Them

Still keeping Germans from freezing in the dark.


Germany’s renewable energy ‘transition’ has turned into high farce: a week after it forced the shutdown of 11 coal-fired power plants, it was forced to reopen them to avoid mass blackouts.

German power prices – already the highest in Europe (if not the world) – are running out of control.

The recent legislated ban on coal-fired power plants has brought Germans face-to-face with the underlying chaos that is wind and solar power generation. And, apparently, those that forced those plants into energy exile are themselves being forced to welcome coal-fired power back again, with open arms.

Germany’s efforts to ditch coal-fired power for good, is a little like St Augustine’s prayer asking his Lord to make him chaste, but just not yet.

We’ll cross to our favoured German resource, No Tricks Zone.

2021 German Coal Plant “Phaseout” Lasted Only 8 Days…Put Back Online To Stabilize Shaky Grid
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
13 April 2021

This story was published in Blackout News and translated and edited by P. Gosselin

Due to the government mandated coal phase-out, 11 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 4.7 GW were shut down on January 1, 2021. But the coal phase-out ended up lasting only 8 days, after which several power plants had to be reconnected to the grid due to a prolonged low-wind period.

Heyden coal-fired power station located near Petershagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, had to be restarted 6 times by late February. Photo: ChristianSchd, CC BY-SA 3.0

The affected large Heyden power plant had to be restarted six times by the end of February in order to secure the power supply.

The Federal Network Agency has now confirmed that it has reclassified the Heyden, Datteln, Walsum 9 and Westfalen power plants, which had already been shut down, as system-relevant and that they now must remain on standby as reserve power plants. The owners will therefore be required to continue operation in the short term.

Never mind that this sporadic operation of these coal plants is horribly inefficient and costly, as you will find out below.

Coal plant shutdowns have increased grid frequency instability
The large power plants are to primarily provide their rotational energy, i.e. run at full speed but not feed any electricity into the grid. The rotational energy is urgently needed to bridge the time needed by the medium- and peak-load power plants to deliver the missing power to the grid by adjusting the load accordingly. Smaller plants simply have too little flywheel mass to be able to provide this compensation. We described how to stabilize a power grid in more detail in the article “How to stabilize the power grid“. The number of these critical frequency drops has already risen sharply this year.

Consumers have to bear the costs
The Federal Network Agency adds, “The costs for the provision in the grid reserve, as well as for the conversion to a rotating phase shifter, are borne by the power grid customers, as these measures serve the safe and reliable network operation.” It is thus clear that these costs must also be financed through the electricity price.

The planned operational readiness to be able to provide only the flywheel mass in critical situations as a rotating phase shifter is an economic disaster for the operators. Because these have the costs for the facility and the maintenance of the plants and practically no incomes, since for the bridging with net frequency dips only a current feed in the range of some seconds and/or few minutes takes place. So you then have to subsidize these plants. This is paradoxical, because these power plants have generated the cheapest electricity to date and have managed without subsidies. That’s also why we now have the most expensive electricity in the world.

Government rushed the phaseout
The German government has allowed itself to be politically driven by Fridays-for-Future protests and other NGOs and has rushed the coal phase-out. The coal commission that decided on the phase-out neither included power grid experts nor power producer representatives.

More plants to be taken off the grid
In 2022, the last nuclear power plants and additional coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 1.5 GW will be taken off the grid. These power plants would be able to generate about 3% of the total electricity demand. Moreover, approx. 6000 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 16 GW will be dismantled by 2022 due to the expiration of feed-in subsidies for older turbines. These generated approx. 7% of the total electricity demand in 2020.

But not enough green energy plants will be added
The planned new construction of green power plants will not even come close to offsetting this output. Should electricity demand rise again, after the Corona lockdowns ease, to the level of 2019, it will be suspenseful, especially during the coming winter. Because there will then be a shortfall of between 10% and 15% in capacity on the generation side.
Some people will then have to learn that the laws of physics apply – even if they don’t understand them.

A blackout is only a matter of time, so prepare yourself early.
No Tricks Zone

What made them fire up their coal-fired plants, again & again.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. 🌏➡️💖🙂🔔🧠☀️

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    Who are the bigger fools: The public who have accepted RE as necessary & are happily brainwashing their kids into believing the same, the politicians who bow to private finance to subsidise their profit at public expense, the public who believe politicians, teachers of compulsory education who have no understanding of empirical evidence & start telling kids what to believe from preschool & earlier, media that is full of opinion rather than factual news supporting the private governing system’s opinion, or so-called educated people who are too lazy to think for themselves?

    Governments have backpedaled, ummed and ahhed, & made up stories to justify hypocrisy and hidden the truth behind a veneer of Christianity for years. And the same is done by private industry: The latest being Elon Musk & his burnt car that crashed with the occupants in the passenger seats. The car apparently not set up as an automated one, but treated as if being so. What does that say of Musk & the idiots he employs?

    • This is the same thing that is going to happen in the USA, We cannot produce enough power with all the ideas that are being presented to the people. I predict that coal-fired power will have to reopen when there is a realization that the present grid is not adequate for all the “EV” vehicles that are supposed to be used. Also, those providing the charging stations will charge whatever they want for their power. Some are already paying twice the cost per mile for their EV vehicle compared to gasoline. How long is it going to be before the public realizes that there has been no global warming for at least two decades? How long will it take before the public realizes that CO2 is necessary for plant growth and we should be generating more of it rather than less? This whole scheme is nothing more than taxation without representation. Everyone driving an EV is hoping to find a quick charge for their batteries and don’t realize that this action will reduce the life of the batteries. So many problems which have not been thought through. Hope the public gets a wake-up call. California is in the process of shutting down all their generating plants and are already having brownouts.

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