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Decarbonised flexible generation ambitions

Growing Green | RWE

RWE has a clear direction of travel for the future: to become carbon neutral by 2040.  With our comprehensive investment and growth strategy ‘Growing Green’, we are expanding our powerful and green generation capacity. Internationally, by 2030, it will have an installed capacity of 50 gigawatts (GW). To this end, RWE is investing more than €50 billion gross in this decade. Our ambitious decarbonisation and green energy targets have been confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative and are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Alongside RWE’s target is the UK Government’s aim for the country to be Net Zero by 2050, and with an ambition for the power sector to be decarbonised, by 2035 (subject to security of supply). The UK Government acknowledges that the energy market needs sources of flexible and dispatchable generation that can supplement variable weather-dependent renewables, and sees Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and hydrogen combustion as essential to maintaining security of electricity supplies in the 2030s and beyond.

RWE is the UK’s largest operator of Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plants with a fleet of around 7GW installed capacity providing security for the country’s energy supply. We are driving an accelerated pace of transition into this new, decarbonised world and in support of this are targeting investments of tens of millions of pounds in the next three years as we assess CCUS and hydrogen combustion options to decarbonise our sites. In addition to upgrading our existing fleet, we are also looking at developing new, state-of-the-art CCGTs with carbon capture technology installed. Our target is for the first of our fleet to be converted to decarbonised operation before 2030. This ambitious timeline requires significant investment, strong policy and governmental support, and major new national infrastructure to be in place.

 

UK Government support for low carbon dispatchable technologies

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How does CCUS work

Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage | RWE
Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage | RWE

It is a low-carbon solution which captures CO2 from a variety of sources. The CO2 is then transported via pipeline or ship to a permanent and secure storage site, deep under the sea-bed. CO2 can also be utilised for a variety of industrial purposes. RWE is a member of the CCS Association the trade association promoting the commercial deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)to find out more about these processes and the technology behind them visit the website.

RWE Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage plans

As the largest operator of gas power stations in the UK, we are looking at CCUS as a viable solution to decarbonise sites that are in the vicinity of proposed CO2 networks or have access to shipping facilities.  RWE are currently undertaking feasibility studies and preparing information that will allow for existing plants at Staythorpe and Pembroke, and a new build CCGT near the Humber to be submitted into the next stage of the cluster sequencing process.  Environmental studies and surveys needed to support the consenting process are already progressing and the stakeholder consultation processes have commenced.

To support these low carbon ambitions RWE recognises that the UK’s East Coast has become a hub for decarbonisation and is working in partnership with Harbour Energy to develop generation assets which could complement the ongoing decarbonisation activities in the region.

Pembroke CCGT | RWE

For CCUS to be successful, it requires industry, local authorities and planning authorities to work together in collaboration. RWE has been involved in the research and development of CCUS since 2008, including pilot projects at both Aberthaw Power Station in South Wales and our Niederaußem power plant in Germany. Aberthaw Power Station ceased operation in 2020, however the Niederaußem pilot plant was commissioned in 2009 and is still operating, clocking up over 100,000 running hours to date.


RWE’s Hydrogen ambitions

Hydrogen | RWE
Hydrogen | RWE

Hydrogen production facilities will require investment for construction and operation and to bridge the funding gap between this and existing use of natural gas. We will apply for financial support from the UK Government’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund to help with the costs of developing and implementing our green hydrogen projects. Find out more about our UK Hydrogen ambitions and plans at our low carbon hub in South Wales PNZC look here.


Innovation

Find out more about RWE’s ambitions to decarbonised its flexible generation ambitions

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RWE Generation UK

Trigonos

Windmill Hill Business Park
Whitehill Way
SN5 6PB Swindon
United Kingdom