HomeNewsGerman Wind Farm Demolished to Expand Coal Mine for Electricity

German Wind Farm Demolished to Expand Coal Mine for Electricity

A wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite or coal mine. One of eight wind turbines installed at the location in 2001 has already been removed. Nevertheless, and in direct contradiction of their action the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as reiterated by RWE, the company that owns the mine. The coal is beneath a bespoke wind park close to the big German coal mine Garzweiler. The wind farm is now being deconstructed to meet the demands for more coal because the German government with the Greens as part of their coalition gave in to the demands of the fossil fuel industry but more importantly to the people’s and industry’s needs for electricity. The wind turbines failed dismally to meet those needs.

Urgent Need for Coal

Wind turbines near the Garzweiler open pit mine in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, run by German energy giant RWE, is being removed to make way for more lignite or coal exploitation. The turbines have only been in operation since 2001, and government subsidies have now expired so this was a wonderful opportunity to get rid of them as they were both economically and production wise nonviable. Energiekontor and WPD, which is also active in the Balkans, operated the wind farm. It is unknown how long the deconstruction would take or what the final cost will be. So far, only one wind turbine has been removed. The whole wind farm exercise in this instance is proving to be a very costly mistake.

Intermittent Wind = Intermittent Electricity

Lignite or coal for electricity production will be extracted where the unproductive wind turbines are now located. Garzweiler’s annual production of coal is 25 million tonnes, according to RWE. It estimated that lignite or coal reserves in the area could last until 2045. The coal fuel is mostly supplied to the nearby Neurat thermal power plant. The excavation was initially limited to an area of 66 square kilometers in the Garzweiler 1 area. The complex was extended in 2006 to the Garzweiler 2 sector over an area of 48 square kilometers.

Displacement due to coal mine expansion

Entire populations from several municipalities in the area west of Cologne had to be relocated in the past due to the Grazweiler mining expansion. In addition to the location of the wind farm, RWE is now taking an additional area in and around the small town of Lützerath which will have its population completely relocated and the town demolished. It is being done in a way to demonise coal mining in the future. The town has become a symbolic battlefield for climate activists in Germany.

New Coal Policy

The decision to demolish Lützerath was made in accordance with the country’s new coal policy to temporarily increase the use of lignite or coal for desperately needed electricity production caused by the EU created energy crisis ‘Clean Energy Wire’ reported with a straight face. Nevertheless, North Rhine-Westphalia has announced it would stop using fossil fuels by 2030, as did RWE. As they backtrack in every direction time will tell.

Inconvenient Location

The coal is under a wind park close to the German coal mine Garzweiler. It’s getting deconstructed as it is in the way of more coal mining! The German government and their Green coalition partners in a panic gave in to the demands for fossil fuel to provide electricity for industry and householders which the wind farm failed dismally to do. You could not make this up.

Security of Supply

The court in the German town of Münster ruled this year in favour of expanding the coal mine. Climate activists went berserk and opposed the plans calling the decision cynical and hypocritical. The court found that no alternative surface mines would meet the necessary demand for lignite or coal. Security of supply is currently the priority while “climate protection remains one of the key challenges of our time,” RWE pointed out and declared it seeks to support both, the article adds.

Security of supply the priority

The Ministry of Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia elaborated on the paradoxical situation, saying with the finest doublespeak that the move would enable the re-cultivation of former coal pits, the shutdown of Garzweiler and a coal phase out. Read that again.

If Lützerath were to be preserved, the production volume required to maintain the security of supply over the next eight years could not be achieved, the stability of the opencast mine could not be guaranteed and the necessary re-cultivation could not be carried out,” it said.

New Mine to Phase Out Coal

Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck has said negotiations on the country’s coal phase out were underway with operators of other mines and eight thermal power plants. Meanwhile a vast new coalmine is being opened for production, a sure sign that coal♥is being phased out. What’s this got to do with Ireland. Everything.


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