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Denmark delays closure of three power plants

The Local Denmark
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Denmark delays closure of three power plants
Denmark's Studstrupværket power plant, seen here in a 2016 file photo, is one of three which will be temporarily kept open until 2024. The plant had partially closed earlier this year. Photo: Michael Lemvig Olsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Three Danish power plants scheduled to be shut down by next year will remain in operation until the summer of 2024.

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The three power plants – two of which are in Jutland with one in Zealand – will not be decommissioned as planned, the Ministry of Climate, Environment and Critical Supplies said in a statement.

“We are unfortunately in a situation where a cold winter can affect Danish electricity security. We will do everything we can to avoid Danes having no electricity in their sockets and to make ourselves independent of Putin’s gas, and we are therefore delaying the closure of three power plants,” environment, energy and critical supplies minister Dan Jørgensen said in the statement.

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The primary role of the retained power plants will be to provide a supplement to existing power sources in Denmark, including wind power, over the coming two winters to avoid the need for power cuts if the system come under strain, according to the ministry.

A cold winter or low level could result in intermittent strain on the system, the ministry has assessed.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark suffer electricity blackouts this winter?

The three power stations to be given the temporary reprieve are Kyndbyværket, located on Zealand, and Esbjergværket and Studstrupværket in Jutland.

The three power stations will remain open until summer 2024.

Parliament is in support of the decision, the ministry said in the statement.

According to the ministry, a section of the Studstrupværket plant stopped operating in April this year but has the capacity to produce 360 megawatts, while the Kyndbyværket’s block 21 stopped operating in 2020. It can produce 260 megawatts.

At Esbjergværket, a part of the station termed block 3, scheduled to be shut off next April, will now continue to operate for at least another year.

All three power plants are operated by Ørsted, Denmark’s largest power company.

In a statement, Ørsted said it would “comply with the authorities’ order and will now prepare and maintain facilities and obtain staff to operate them”.

“It is still our view that we as a society should phase out the use of gas, oil and coal as soon as possible but we are in the middle of a European energy crisis and we will naturally help to secure energy supplies as well as we can,” Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper said according to broadcaster DR.

According to both the energy ministry and the Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen), the delayed closure of the plants does not affect Denmark’s 2025 and 2030 climate targets.

“This is due precaution. It’s important to stress that the decision does not affect being able to fulfil our ambitious climate goals because it the measure in question is a temporary one,” Jørgensen said.

Delaying the plant closures “does not change the long-term plans for green conversion in the electricity sector and CO2 reduction,” Energy Agency vice director Martin Hansen told DR.

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