By John Ikani
France is likely to restart coal-fired power plants to cope with the energy crisis fueled by the Russia-Ukraine war, RTL radio news reported on Sunday.
“As a precautionary measure, given the situation in Ukraine, we are reserving the option to reactivate the Saint Avold plant …if needed this winter,” the ministry said.
The plant will produce approximately 1% of the country’s electricity.
It originally consisted of six coal-fired units of which only one, producing 647 megawatts, was operational until March. The Cordemais power station in Loire-Atlantique is the last coal-fired power station that remains operational and is likely to be active until 2024.
France’s likey move comes as Germany fell back on burning coal – the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions as Russia throttled Gas supplies.
Paris had committed to a “zero coal” policy by closing all coal-fired power plants in this year. But, the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine put the power supply at risk and hiked fuel prices, prompting a scramble to find alternative energy sources.
The heads of France’s big energy companies on Sunday urged individuals and businesses to limit power consumption immediately to prepare for a looming energy crisis.
No Russian coal will be used in the Saint Avold plant, the ministry said.