|Business areas||Conventional power generation (lignite and nuclear power)|
|Facts about the company||
With electricity generation on standby and ready to be called upon at any time, RWE Power AG will continue to help ensure security of energy supply in Germany for years to come and thus contribute towards a successful energy transition. The short- and medium-term phase-outs of both energy sources have been decided at the political level.
|Sites||Essen, Cologne (headquarters,
sites in the Rhenish mining district, in Lingen/Ems, Mülheim-Kärlich, Biblis and Gundremmingen
Who we are
An overview of the company
RWE Power employs approximately 11,000 people and produces electricity from lignite and nuclear energy. Those conventional fuels reliably produce electricity when wind and sun are not available. This means that the power plants in the Rhenish mining district and those of RWE Nuclear are currently still an important backbone of security of supply in Germany. With the phase-out of nuclear energy and coal in German electricity generation, their contribution will diminish in the future.
The nuclear power segment is managed by RWE Nuclear, a full subsidiary of RWE Power AG. It is currently operating two nuclear power plant units in Lingen and Gundremmingen. In addition, RWE Power GmbH is responsible for post-operation, decommissioning and dismantling of its nuclear plants as stipulated in German nuclear law as well as packaging the radioactive waste appropriately.
Around 9,500 jobs are linked to lignite, which can only be mined in opencast operations due to geological reasons. Approximately ten per cent of the lignite goes into producing solid fuels and coke for domestic and industrial use. Around 90 per cent is used for generating electricity. The recultivation of spent mining areas is considered exemplary by experts around the globe.
On 3 July 2020, the German parliament passed the “Act on the Reduction and Termination of Coal-fired Power Generation and on the Amendment of Other Acts” (Coal Phase-out Act). It is based on the recommendations of the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment set up by the German Federal Government as presented in January 2019. The paper lays out that electricity generation from coal in Germany is to end by 2038 at the latest. This decision will have a big impact on the Rhenish mining district where around half of the lignite used for electricity generation in Germany is extracted.
In the Rhenish mining district, the company does not see itself as a victim of structural change, but rather actively helps to shape this change. It continues to remain a reliable partner for the people in the region, as employer, mentor and customer. The RWE Group is now constructing and operating wind and solar farms as well as biomass plants in the mining district, ensuring that the region remains an important energy location.
As part of the plans for developing the district, exploratory drilling is planned at the Weisweiler site for 2021. There, the possibility of using geothermal heat for the regional district heating grid is to be explored in collaboration with renowned partners from the world of science and the relevant authorities. In addition, RWE Power is collaborating closely with opencast mining district initiatives and the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier, the agency for the future development of the region. At Niederaussem, a pilot plant scrubbing CO2 from flue gases produced by the neighbouring power plant unit is already in operation. It is part of the RWE Innovation Centre, where scientists and engineers of the company also work on synthetic fuels, phosphorous recovery and CO2 conversion. These RWE Power projects make an important contribution towards a successful energy transition and the future of the mining district.