Germany is bringing back some of its coal power plants online ahead of the winter season amid concerns about a potential shortage of natural gas supplies.

Germany has cracked down on its coal power plants as part of transitioning out from fossil fuel energy. However, as the Russia-Ukraine war dented gas supplies from Moscow and nuclear power supplies from France got affected, Berlin last year decided to keep 1.9GW of lignite coal power online. Lignite, referred to as brown coal, is the lowest grade of coal. On Oct. 4, the German government announced that lignite coal plants would remain on standby into the winter, until the end of March 2024. This is expected to help offset the scarcity of natural gas during the season.

“The supply reserve will be reactivated in order to save gas in electricity generation and thus prevent supply bottlenecks with gas in the 2023/2024 heating period,” the government said, according to media network Euractiv.

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