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Germany is struggling with an energy crisis: Passenger rail transport goes by the wayside for coal

Germany is struggling with an energy crisis: Passenger rail transport goes by the wayside for coal
foto: Moravian-Silesian Region/Germany is struggling with an energy crisis: Passenger rail transport goes by the wayside for coal
26 / 08 / 2022

The energy crisis is affecting everyone. Hence, the German government has taken the drastic step of prioritising coal over passenger transport on the railways so that coal-fired power stations can generate electricity. It is a part of measures to ensure energy security.

After a meeting of the German government yesterday, the ministers of economy and transport, Robert Habeck and Volker Wissing announced that measures had been taken to ensure energy security. With question marks hanging over the natural gas supply due to the war in Ukraine, the German government has resorted to greater use of coal-fired power plants to generate electricity. On busier rail corridors, coal and other strategic commodities will now take priority over passenger transport. The possibility of shipping was also considered, but it was discarded because the level of German rivers was not sufficient for this transport mode.

Other measures include a ban on heating public buildings above 19 °C, and corridors and halls should not be heated at all. Hospitals or kindergartens will be exempt from this ban. Overnight lighting of building facades and advertising areas will also be banned. These measures are short-term and should only apply during the heating season.

In addition to these short-term measures, long-term measures are planned, but these must first be approved by the Federal Council representing the German regions. Tentatively, the introduction of compulsory heating system adjustments during regular heating system inspections is expected to save 2,5% of total gas consumption. At the same time, the German government is trying to replenish gas storage before the heating season, which is currently about 80% full. It is not yet clear whether this plan will succeed. The information was provided by CTK.

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