France is restarting its Émile Huchet coal-fired power plant as part of the country’s efforts to stave off the energy crisis after the sanctions against Russia.
The announcement of the restart was made shortly after the leaders of three major French energy companies — Engie, EDF, and TotalEnergies — warned that the public should immediately curb their energy use to ensure that the authorities could better manage energy security.
According to the media group RTL, officials said the coal-fired power plant would be recommissioned only as a precaution, given the situation in Ukraine.
French newspaper Le Figaro reported that officials said so-called environmental compensation will be included in the plant’s restart plan. As a result, the plant operator will embark on a reforestation plan as part of the reopening.
Recently, Germany also announced it was boosting its own coal-fired capacities to better cope with the current energy crisis. The country’s deputy prime minister, Robert Habeck, recently said that to reduce gas consumption, less gas must be used to generate electricity, so Germany must use coal-fired power plants instead.
However, he insisted that Germany’s nuclear power plants, the last three of which are due to be shut down by the end of the year, would not be used to offset energy supply problems, despite demands that Germany keep them in operation.
The situation is so bad that even EU officials are calling on Germany to continue using their power plants.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal markets commissioner, recently said the three nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany would cover 25 percent of the country’s electricity consumption and suggested that the shutdown could be worth reconsidering for a year or two.