Owners of Irsching 4 and 5 gas-fired plants signal closure again
●The latest technology “Made in Germany” remains sidelined
●Continued lack of suitable parameters hinders economic viability of high-efficiency gas-fired power plants in Germany
The owners of the state-of-the-art gas-fired power plant Irsching 5, Uniper, N-ERGIE Mainova, and ENTEGA, have notified the Federal Network Agency and the grid operator TenneT for the third time that the unit is slated to be mothballed. The owners see no way to ensure the plant’s commercial viability into early 2019 and are therefore announcing the temporary closure of the plant from May 2019 through the end of September 2020. Alongside this – and for the same reasons – Uniper, the sole owner of the Irsching 4 gas- fired plant, has likewise announced the temporary closure of that unit from May 2019 to the end of September 2020.
High-efficiency, state-of-the-art gas-fired power plants such as Irsching 4 and 5 are well suited to dampen volatile fluctuations in electricity generated by wind and solar on short notice. That is what makes them ideal partners for renewable forms of energy and significant contributors in achieving climate goals. However, this backup function, which every electricity customer in Germany can rely on, is not being adequately compensated. Instead, the legal environment forces owners to provide this service at prices that do not cover costs. This makes it untenable for the owners and, in their view, unconstitutional.
Particularly in light of the current debate over coal, it falls to the new administration to finally establish the sort of parameters in the energy market that will allow flexible and high- efficiency gas-fired power plants to continue playing a role alongside renewable forms of energy. Ancillary services, whose importance will continue to grow in the coming years, must be compensated in a manner commensurate with the services they provide.
Irsching 5 generates 846 megawatts of output and went into operation in 2010. With a 59.7% efficiency rate, it is one of the most modern gas-fired power plants in Europe. It is operated by Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH on behalf of the owner companies. Uniper holds a 50.2% share, N-ERGIE 25.2%, Mainova 15.6%, and ENTEGA 9%. Irsching 4, with 561 megawatts of output, went into operation in 2011 and with a 60.4% rate of efficiency is one of the most efficient gas-fired power plants in the world. The two units are subject to the so-called network reserve provision. This means they are used only when their output is needed to maintain grid stability. This is the case when the grid in southern Germany requires backup owing to temporary shortages.
Your contact for further information:
Dr. Nicole Karczmarzyk / Leif Erichsen
+49 2 11-45 79-3570
+49 69 213-25491
Dr. Heidi Willer
+49 911 802-58063
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Uniper SE Management and other information currently available to Uniper. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. Uniper SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to modify them to conform with future events or developments.