|Conventional power generation (lignite) as well as management, post-operation and dismantling of RWE’s nuclear energy facilities.
|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. At the socio-political level, the phase-out of nuclear energy is complete, the exit from lignite by 2030 at the latest has been decided.
|Locations & Directions
Operational sites in the Rhenish mining district, nuclear plants being dismantled in Lingen/Ems, Mülheim-Kärlich, Biblis and Gundremmingen
Who we are
An overview of the company
RWE Power employs approximately 8,800 people. The company produces electricity from lignite and is also responsible for safely dismantling RWE’s former nuclear power plants. Conventional fuels still reliably produce electricity when wind and sun are not available. This means that the power plants in the Rhenish mining district are an important building block in ensuring security of supply in Germany. With the completed phase-out of nuclear energy (April 2023) and coal in German electricity generation (2030 in the Rhenish area), their contribution will diminish in the near future.
The nuclear power segment is managed by RWE Nuclear, a full subsidiary of RWE AG led by RWE Power AG. RWE Nuclear GmbH is responsible for post-operation, decommissioning and dismantling of its units as stipulated in German nuclear law as well as packaging the radioactive waste appropriately.
Around 7,500 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. On 4 October 2022, RWE reached an agreement with the federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, among others, to bring forward the phase-out of coal in the Rhenish lignite region to 2030.
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 2023. 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 municipal 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 Coal 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.