From Fox News, officials say that a German energy company is taking down a wind farm so that a coal mine next to it can expand. The energy company RWE, which runs the German coal mine Garzweiler, admits that the situation seems “paradoxical” because they are giving up one energy source for another, but they say the decision was necessary to strengthen supplies during the current energy crisis. This was reported by Oilprice.com.
In a statement, Guido Steffen, a spokesman for RWE, said, “We realize this comes across as paradoxical, but that is as matters stand.”
One of the eight wind turbines at the wind farm was taken apart last week, and two more will be taken apart next year. A spokesperson for the company that builds and runs the wind farm said that the last five turbines will be taken down by the end of 2023.
Climate activists are upset that North Rhine-Westphalia-based RWE wants to expand into the Keyenberg wind farm.
The ministry for economic and energy affairs in North-Rhine Westphalia fought against destroying the wind turbines many times.
“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 ministry spokesperson said in a statement to the Guardian earlier this week.
The spokesperson also said, “We don’t currently see any necessity to dismantle the wind power plant by the L12 near the Garzweiler surface mine.” Germany’s cabinet agreed to put three of RWE’s lignite-fired coal units back on the market for a short time. This plan goes along with the expansion. The units were on standby before.
“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 stated in September.
RWE added, “Originally, it was planned that the three reserve power plant units affected would be permanently shut down on September 30, 2022, and September 30, 2023, respectively.”
Germany’s cabinet agreed to bring back the idled coal units to boost energy supplies because the Russian war is still making it hard to get energy from other countries.
The expansion also comes after a court sided with RWE in a dispute over the land in March of this year.
The wind park’s turbines were built more than 20 years ago when they were much less powerful than they are now.
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