With CO2 emissions of 810 grams per kilowatt hour, the Dürnrohr coal-fired power plant in Lower Austria was one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases in Austria in 2018. In 2019, the Lower Austrian energy supplier EVN had the last of the two power plant units shut down.
Three years later, of all people, a green energy minister wanted to know whether this CO2 slingshot could be activated again near Tulln: “Of course, the Ministry of Climate Protection has examined all possible options for reducing natural gas consumption and replacing it with other fuels. In the case of the former coal-fired power plant in Dürnrohr, however, reactivation is no longer technically possible,” the eXXpress received confirmation from the ministry.
A well-known Austrian energy manager commented on this highly official inspection of Dürnrohr commissioning after the decision to reactivate the coal-fired power plant in Mellach in Carinthia: “When we heard about it, we were really surprised – it doesn’t sound like the minister had many other alternatives to continue to provide energy to the country.”
In fact, Dürnrohr can no longer be activated: As the eXXpress found out, the air filters were removed and sold. There is also a lack of personnel for the power plant: the employees are retired or have switched to other industries. And a huge photovoltaic system is planned for the storage area for the coal masses required for operation.
Without energy reserves, the energy minister has to realize that she has to make do with the coal-fired power plant in Mellach: Even this alternative to gas imports does not work immediately – reactivation takes months and costs 75 million euros.
And there is still a catch to this plan: the necessary amounts of coal can hardly or not at all be found on the world market, the transport to Austria is expensive or impossible. And after China, Indonesia, India, the USA and Australia, it is already the sixth largest coal producer in comparison to Russia. . .
As is well known, Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced that a major energy-saving campaign would start in the fall: Austrians should be told there how to save energy – for example putting the lid on the pot when cooking or the room temperature by one or two degrees reduce.