3 questions for ...

Stefanie Rehpöhler

At the end of March, STEAG was obliged to shut down its state-of-the-art Voerde power plant on the Lower Rhine. Cost-effective operation was no longer possible due to the fall in electricity prices, and further power plant closures are on the horizon. Stefanie Rehpöhler is part of the power generation management team which operates all the STEAG power plants in Germany and abroad. She is responsible for commercial control.

Biographical details
Stefanie Rehpöhler studied thermal process engineering at the Technical University of Dortmund. She joined STEAG in 2001 as a controller in the central controlling department. After various promotions she headed the board office of Evonik Steag GmbH for two years from 2009, before moving to the power generation division. She now heads the power generation division of STEAG GmbH together with Dr. Hüseyin Rall and Dr. Peter Weiss.

Are you enjoying your job at the moment?
Yes and no. Basically, working at STEAG is fun. It is still a great feeling to be responsible every day for the reliable generation of electricity and heat for thousands of people. But the decommissioning of conventional power plants and the associated job losses are very close to home. It is good to know that a solution was found for almost every employee at the Voerde plant even before it was shut down at the end of March. That is also an effect of the cross-divisional and cooperative approach in our company.

What role do conventional power plants play now and will they play in the future?
Conventional power plants will still be needed as long as some of the fundamental challenges of the energy transition have not been overcome. When Germany’s last nuclear power plants go off line in 2022 at the latest, it will become clear how important generation plants which are independent of the weather are. The last winter already provided a foretaste of several days of blackouts. In addition, the transmission system operator has classified our Weiher and Bexbach power plants in Saarland, which were registered for closure, as system-relevant for stabilizing the grid. I therefore hope that in future that security of supply as an asset will receive more social and political attention and appreciation.

Where do you get your energy from privately?
As a work-life balance, family and a stable and close circle of friends are important to me. The main thing is that the focus is on people, and it does not matter what exactly I do for a living or what position I hold. Over and above that, I have a passion for traveling and photography.