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Next Step: The Coal Phase-Out

EnBW Fuel Switch: Building the Bridge from Coal to Gas and into the Hydrogen Future

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We are committed to phasing out fossil fuels and have made decarbonization a core element of our corporate strategy. Our fuel switch projects are bridging the gap from coal to natural gas on the path to green hydrogen. Simultaneously, we are investing massively in building a sustainable supply chain. Our goal is to provide net-zero electricity and heating by the 2030s.

Up to 0%

of power-plant CO₂ emissions can be cut immediately by switching fuel from coal to natural gas.

0 billion

has been invested by EnBW in fuel switch projects.


hydrogen will be fueling EnBW gas power plants successively from the mid-2030s onward.


is the year by which we aim to become climate neutral with respect to our own CO₂ emissions.

In focus
EnBW Launches New Decarbonization Showcase

EnBW’s third fuel switch project is taking shape: the work of converting our power plant in Heilbronn and preparing it for the post-coal era is well underway. This will reduce plant emissions by more than fifty percent. At the same time, we’re significantly boosting the efficiency of our district heating system.

Learn more about the Heilbronn power plant

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Our Path away from Coal

One of the most important goals of the energy transition is to phase out fossil fuels. EnBW is committed to actively supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as meeting the resulting decarbonization targets for the EU (2050) and Germany (2045). We are accelerating the pace of our own transformation, striving to become climate neutral by 2035.

To date, the availability of energy from renewable sources is not yet sufficient to securely cover demand. The solution? Gas-fired plants are an interim solution that covers weather-related fluctuations in renewables and ensures security of supply. Gas-fired power plants have the dual advantages of being flexibly deployable and significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional coal-fired plants. They also pave the way to low-carbon or green hydrogen as the energy source of the future.

Learn more about our climate projection efforts

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CO₂ equivalent of electricity production in grams per kilowatt-hour

CO₂ equivalent of electricity production in grams per kilowatt-hour

* generated using 100% renewable energy (source: EnBW Environment)

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Fuel Switch
Blazing a Trail for Green Energy

The term “fuel switch” refers to replacing fossil fuels such as coal with natural gas. What does this mean for us? We are modernizing our fleet of power plants and converting them from coal to gas. In turn, our new gas-fired plants will be prepared and green-hydrogen-capable when the time comes. EnBW is Germany’s fuel-switching meister!

Fuel Switch projects are an important interim step in reducing CO₂ emissions and ensuring the security of supply. They facilitate an initial transition of electricity and heat generation from coal to a more climate-friendly fuel, such as natural gas, and ultimately paving the way to using exclusively climate-neutral, green gases like hydrogen by the mid-2030s.

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Fuel Switch Projects: Committed to Being Coal-Free

Fuel switch projects at the three EnBW power plants in Altbach/Deizisau, Heilbronn, and Stuttgart-Münster are already underway. The path towards a coal-free future continues unabated for our other plants as well. Each of these sites will be developed further depending on the corresponding framework conditions. We set ourselves an ambitious goal of completing the phaseout of coal by 2028. In 2019, we converted the Stuttgart-Gaisburg thermal power plant. Previously mainly coal-fired, the newly modernized heating plant uses lower-emission natural gas instead.

Our fuel-switch project locations at a glance

Fuel Switch in Altbach/Deizisau

Fuel Switch in Heilbronn

Fuel Switch in Stuttgart-Münster

Fuel Switch in Stuttgart-Gaisburg

Power Plant Portfolio
Ensuring Security of Supply Flexibly

EnBW operates seven conventional power plants directly and several additional units indirectly through its subsidiaries. Our plants are characterized by a winning mix of easy accessibility and cost-effective operation. Technologies such as combined heat and power generation also make them extremely efficient, using captured thermal energy to supply district heating for industrial, commercial, and residential customers alike. For example, Block 8 of the Rheinhafen steam power plant in Karlsruhe (RDK) is one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly coal-fired power plants in the world.

We invest millions of euros every year to ensure it stays that way. Not all of our power plants actively supply the market: the older of the two Altbach/Deizisau combined heat and power plant blocks has been placed into grid reserve, for example. It only goes online at the request of the transmission system operator in order to ensure grid stability.

Our power plants at a glance

Heat and power plant Altbach/Deizisau

Thermal power plant Heilbronn

Power plant Walheim

Power plant Marbach

Steam power plant Karlsruhe (RDK)

Thermal power plant Stuttgart-Münster

Thermal power plant Stuttgart-Gaisburg

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Graphics power plant strategy
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Climate Neutral Electricity and Heat Generation in the 2030s

Fuel switching is a “bridge” technology. The use of natural gas in our power plants to generate electricity and heat is an intermediate step. Our long-term goal is to transition fully to low-carbon or green hydrogen fuel, a process we expect to complete by the mid-2030s. However, before the transition can get into full swing, the core network for hydrogen fuel must be completed so that we can make the necessary upgrades to our plants. Once connected, EnBW will be able to provide customers with energy generated from 100% hydrogen.

Want to know more about hydrogen?