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Germany Is Dismantling A Wind Farm To Make Way For A Coal Mine

A wind farm is being dismantled in western Germany to make way for an expansion of an open-pit lignite coal mine in a “paradoxical” situation highlighting the current prioritization of energy security over clean energy in Europe’s biggest economy.  

The dismantling of at least one wind turbine at the wind farm close to the German coal mine Garzweiler, operated by energy giant RWE, has already started. RWE says that lignite, or brown coal, has been mined from the Garzweiler coalfields for over 100 years.

RWE also said at the end of September that three of its lignite-fired coal units that were previously on standby would return to the electricity market on schedule in October.

“The three lignite units each have a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW). With their deployment, they contribute to strengthening the security of supply in Germany during the energy crisis and to saving natural gas in electricity generation,” RWE said last month.

Now the company is expanding the lignite mine at Garzweiler after a court in Münster in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia ruled in favor of the energy group in a land dispute in March this year to expand the lignite mine.

Commenting on the dismantling of wind turbines to make way for expanding a coal mine, Guido Steffen, a spokesperson for RWE, told the Guardian, “We realise this comes across as paradoxical.”

“But that is as matters stand,” Steffen added.

Earlier this week, the ministry for economic and energy affairs of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia urged RWE to abandon the plan to dismantle the wind farm.

“In the current situation, all potential for the use of renewable energy should be exhausted as much as possible and existing turbines should be in operation for as long as possible,” a spokesperson for the state’s ministry told the Guardian.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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  • John Knox on November 07 2022 said:
    Sanctions against Russia are working. Putin and his supporters actually still believe that Europeans will cave in because they don't want to "freeze to death".

    Well, guess what? The free market has already found alternative solutions. The ships are full of LNG off Europe's coasts. They have so much gas they can't take anymore.

    Sure, prices will be elevated for a while and won't get back to where they were for some time but we have adjusted, and they will reduce over the next few years. In the meantime yes we may have to burn coal until more gas and nuclear can come online.

    Europe has never been more united. We have suffered much worse in the past. And hey, perhaps our politicians will now start to grow their brains and drop all the unproven climate nonsense a lot of which is actually funded by the likes of Russia and to a lesser extent China the two nations who stood to benefit most from our economic suicide and disastrous move away from energy independence.
  • Brad Fulson on October 28 2022 said:
    No, Mr. St. John, this is about survival, i.e. "reducing the amount of Germans who will freeze to death this winter". Millions of Europeans and others will suffer so the egos of a few thousand self-important dopes can feel special.

    Do you feel special, Mr. St. John?
  • Aj Droyd on October 27 2022 said:
    Good news! The fairytale pipedream about wind for energy needs to come to a grinding haly!his is awesome! Wind is a pollution, noisy joke. Coal is plentiful and should be utilized till exhausted! In a very short amount of time when we straighten out America again we will be going back to full time coal and fracking!
  • Greg Green on October 27 2022 said:
    This is great news for Germany. Reliable power is more important. And wind farms make to much pollution anyway.
  • John Galt on October 26 2022 said:
    Funny how survival trumps idealism.
  • Ian St. John on October 26 2022 said:
    This isn't about the end of wind power so much as 're-siting' wind elsewhere to adapt to a short term emergency. The only question is how cost effective it is to go back to low grade coal. Just because you have it, doesn't mean you should burn it.

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