Austria puts green energy transition on hold – media

The country is returning to coal for electricity production, Bloomberg reports

Austria is bringing its biggest coal-fired power plant back to life for electricity production amid a reduction in Russian natural gas supplies, Bloomberg reported on Monday

The nation’s biggest utility and most valuable company, Verbund AG, was reportedly ordered late Sunday to prepare its Mellach coal-fired station for operation. The plant, which is located 200km (124 miles) south of Vienna, was shuttered two years ago after the country decided to eliminate coal entirely from its electricity grid. It was turned into a center for researchers looking for ways to safely feed hydrogen fuel to the power grid.

“The government and Verbund have agreed to convert the Mellach district heating plant, which is currently shut down, so that electricity can be produced again from coal in an emergency,” Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s coalition said in a statement seen by the outlet.

Other European nations, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have also announced plans to extend the use of coal-fired power to make up for the shortage of natural gas from Russia.

According to the report, Austria’s gas storage depots currently contain just 39% of the country’s annual needs.

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