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Germany's RWE says it won't invest in new coal power plants

BERLIN (AP) — German energy company RWE says it won't invest in new coal-fired power stations and is scrapping plans for a lignite-fired plant in western Germany. RWE, which operates several of Europe's most-polluting power plants, said in a statement Friday that it will now focus on generating electricity from renewable sources. CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz said that "new coal-fired power stations no longer have a place in our future-oriented strategy."

The company said it canceled plans for a possible lignite-burning plant at Niederaussem, near Cologne. However, RWE said it is "convinced that existing coal-fired power stations will be needed to provide backup capacity" as Germany switches to renewable energy.

A German government-appointed expert panel recently agreed that coal burning should end by 2038. Details of how that will be achieved remain sketchy.

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