BONN (dpa-AFX) - Several coal-fired power plant units in Germany were taken off the grid at Easter. A total of seven lignite-fired power plant units were shut down in the Rhenish mining area and in Brandenburg, as confirmed by the energy companies RWE and Leag on Easter Sunday.

The shutdown of all units had been planned earlier. In order to save natural gas in power generation during the energy crisis, five units had been taken out of the so-called supply reserve by the German government. Two further units were allowed to continue operating beyond the originally planned decommissioning date. This will now finally end at the end of winter 2023/24. The Network Agency does not believe that the decommissioning will have any negative impact on security of supply.

Units at the Niederaussem and Neurath power plants in the Rhenish mining area were taken out of security standby. They belong to the energy company RWE. In the Lusatian coalfield, units E and F at the Jänschwalde power plant, which belong to the energy company Leag, were recalled. In addition, two further units at RWE's Neurath power plant were extended.

"In view of the worsening climate crisis, the decommissioning of coal-fired power plants is an important measure to reduce greenhouse gases," said Kathrin Henneberger, member of the Green Party in the Bundestag, according to a press release. The current shutdown is "a great success for climate justice and is done in the knowledge of our historical and global responsibility for achieving our climate targets".

The Federal Ministry of Economics is legally obliged to examine how much additional greenhouse gas has been emitted by the continued operation of coal-fired power plants. It has until the end of June to make proposals as to what measures can be taken to offset these additional emissions./swe/DP/he