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Raw materials and energy sources

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Energy sources, yesterday, today and tomorrow

Lignite, coal, gas, uranium, water and biomass – these are the raw materials from which we have generated energy in the past. Naturally, the use of the fossil fuels coal and gas has a long tradition at RWE. Hydropower also plays an important role for us. The exit from nuclear energy on the other hand was decided quite a while ago now. Our nuclear power plant Lingen goes offline at the end of 2022, signalling the end of our nuclear power activities.

Renewable energy sources are our future

Wind and sun are the answer to the question of how we will shape the future of energy. One thing is clear: climate protection and the energy transition can only be successful if security of supply can continue to be guaranteed. This is the reason why conventional energy sources always exist in parallel to innovative storage technologies in the generation mix. In addition to a large, international portfolio of wind and solar plants, the new RWE will focus on storage units, biomass and gas-fired power plants that are primarily run on “green” gas and which balance out the fluctuating generation from the wind and the sun.

Biomass replacing coal

When deploying biomass we use pellets made from compressed wood, which we burn in our Dutch power plants in Amer and Eemshaven. Biomass will increasingly take over the role of coal as fuel in the Amer power plant and - if feasible - in the Eemshaven power plant. All of our raw materials have their advantages, such as the relatively low-cost native lignite, or CO2-free nuclear power. However, fossil fuels in particular do have disadvantages. It is impossible to extract and use them without impacting the environment. For that reason, protecting the climate is a matter close to our hearts. We don’t just want to do well in that regard – we want to do better! 

New technologies to protect the climate

Particularly in terms of conventional power generation, this is a task on a truly Herculean scale. But it is one we are happy to rise to, for example by optimising and modernising our fleet of power plants on an ongoing basis. We draw on promising technologies that enable us to reduce the emissions of damaging greenhouse gases to a minimum.

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