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German Fossil-Fuel Utilities Push Back Against Renewable Energy Initiatives
Germany’s largest gas, electric, and water utility has threatened to relocate to Turkey if the government continues to push for renewable energy. E.ON reports that its coal and gas-fired plants are currently operating and the situation (for them) only promises to get worse. In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to phase out nuclear power in Germany within a decade — another main source of revenue for E.ON.
E.ON isn’t the only company feeling the pinch. RWE, Germany’s second-largest utility, is planning to shut down six power plants. Right now, some of those plants are operating at less than 10 percent of its generation capacity. It turns out Germany’s wind and solar sources are doing so well that the country barely needs to rely on conventional power plants at all.
In fact, the majority of power in Germany now comes from renewable sources, which are given priority access to the nation’s grid. Plants powered by fossil fuels are only used to make up for shortfalls in the energy supply. Maybe instead of packing up and moving to a more coal-friendly country, E.ON could look into setting up solar panels or wind turbines to maintain their profitability instead.
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