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Germany begins dismantling wind farm for coal



German vitality big RWE has begun dismantling a wind farm to make method for an additional growth of an open-pit lignite coal mine within the western area of North Rhine Westphalia.

One wind turbine has already been dismantled, with an additional seven scheduled for elimination to excavate an extra 15m to 20m tonnes of so-called ‘brown’ coal, probably the most polluting vitality supply.

The demolitions are a part of a deal brokered final yr between Robert Habeck, the Green celebration’s minister for financial system and local weather motion and Mona Neubaur, who’s the financial system minister for North Rhine Westphalia, to permit the growth of the mine.

In return, RWE needed to comply with part out coal in 2030, eight years earlier than the earlier deadline. “It’s a good day for climate protection,” Habeck mentioned on the time.

But this week’s transfer has sparked sharp criticism from activists.

“The current climate emergency requires urgent and concerted efforts to accelerate the deployment of every single wind turbine, solar panel and heat pump that we can muster,” mentioned Fabian Hübner, a senior campaigner at Beyond Fossil Fuels, a German-based coalition of local weather activists.

“Anything that diverts from this critical endeavour, especially the dismantling of renewable energy sources to extract more fossil fuels, must be unequivocally prohibited,” he added.

But RWE and Germany’s authorities have persistently justified the growth of the so-called Garzweiler coal fields by pointing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the following vitality disaster.

According to RWE, the growth is important “due to the energy crisis.” The authorities in Berlin follows this logic. Indeed, a few of the main advocates of RWE’s coal growth plans come from the Green Party, one in every of three ruling events in Germany’s present ‘site visitors mild’ coalition with centre-left SPD and business-friendly FPD-party.

Habeck has defended the growth because the “right decision.” Green celebration politician Oliver Krischer has described the growth and earlier phase-out as “one of the greatest advances we’ve made in recent years,”

But vitality session agency Aurora has discovered that increasing the Garzweiler open-pit mine would trigger the nation to overshoot its local weather pledges. Researchers additionally mentioned lignite coal is prone to finish in 2030 anyway as a result of it’s quickly changing into uneconomical in comparison with different cheaper vitality sources comparable to photo voltaic and wind.

This is mirrored in Eurostat information, which exhibits coal consumption for electrical energy in Europe was down by 40 % in 2022 in comparison with 2017.

Displacement and demolition

The enlargement of Garzweiler has additionally led to vital destruction and displacement of communities within the space west of Cologne in recent times. Several municipalities have needed to be relocated.

This got here to a head in January when the German court docket in Münster allowed RWE to demolish the city of Lützerath, which sat on the fringe of the open-pit mine.

Thousands of activists flocked to the city to dam its destruction. Hundreds of navy coverage lastly evicted the activists after a days-long siege.



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