EnergyWatch

These power plants survived WWII bombs but maybe not Merkel

Many of central Europe's power plants could be facing extinction due to new technologies and stagnating prices.

After surviving wartime bombing and Soviet-era seizures, some power plants in central Europe are facing extinction because of flat prices, newer technologies and red tape in Berlin.

The facilities at risk used to make money buying cheap power at night to pump water up mountains, then releasing it downhill to turn generators during the day, when prices were higher. While they were cash cows before the era of wind and solar, market conditions are now so bad for pumped-hydro plants that Sweden’s Vattenfall AB and Norway’s Statkraft AS say they might close plants in Germany, while Alpiq Holding AG wants to unload some units in Switzerland.

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