RWE - RWE Power AG
RWE is a multi-utility company within the power sector. Most of the electricity and heat is generated
within RWE Power, the energy utility within the RWE Group. Its activities are centred in Western and
Southern Germany, but RWE holds stakes in companies within other European countries as well. Under the RWE Power roof there are over 16,000 employees at work.
Electricity of over 180 billion kWh is generated every year from nuclear power, lignite, hard coal, natural gas and renewables like hydropower. This covers one third of Germany’s electricity needs and makes RWE Power no. 1 in Germany and no. 2 in Europe among electricity producers.
With an output of some 90 to 100 million tons per annum, RWE Power is the world’s biggest lignite producer. About 90 % of the lignite mined in the opencast operations at Garzweiler, Hambach and Inden is used to generate electricity, while the remaining 10 % is upgraded to make briquettes, pulverized lignite and coke as well as fluidized-bed coal.
Coal is a major energy source in Europe. Coal utilization also leads to considerable CO2 emissions. Hence, RWE aims to sustainably lower its CO2 emissions. The urgent task is to further develop the efficient and climate-sparing utilization of coal. The centrepieces of RWE’s clean-coal activities are post-combustion projects. A post-combustion unit is running pilot tests for amine washing in Niederaußem near Cologne. This technology will be upscaled for full train PCC plants. Additionally, RWE aims to implement CCU technology. With this technique, CO2 is utilized to produce e.g. biomass and special plastics.
In the field of CCS, RWE has been and is involved in a number of R&D projects, like CASTOR, ENCAP, COURAGE, CO2TRAP, CAESAR, CO2SINK, CO2MAN, CO2QualStore and CO2EuroPipe. RWE is recently storing CO2 in collaboration with AEP in West Virginia, where up to 0.1 Mt/a CO2 are injected in a deep saline formation since Oct. 2009. RWE also takes part in the northern Norwegian Snøhvit operation (offshore) where 0.6 Mt/a CO2 has been injected in a deep saline formation since April 2008.
The role of RWE within CO2CARE is to bring field data and experience into the project, participate with reservoir engineers and geo-scientists to help develop safe monitoring technology and a “Best Practice” that is both safe and practical for authorities and operators.