German energy giant explains ‘paradoxical’ decision on renewables – RT World News

RWE says the current crisis has forced it to remove wind turbines to make way for a coal mine expansion

The ongoing energy crisis in Germany has prompted a local electricity supplier to demolish several wind turbines to make way for the expansion of an open pit coal mine. There « paradoxicaldecision goes against the country’s green policies. With one turbine already down, regional authorities have urged energy company RWE to cancel plans to remove two more.

« We realize that this seems paradoxical,“, recognized Guido Steffen, spokesperson for RWE, quoted by the Guardian newspaper.

« But that’s the way it is now, » he added.

Steffen pointed out that rebuilding the turbines so the mine could expand was part of the original deal that saw the wind farm built in the first place in 2001.

Commissioned more than twenty years ago, the Keyenberg wind farm in North Rhine-Westphalia had a total of eight wind turbines and is less than one kilometer (half a mile) from the edge of the open pit from Garzweiler.

One of the turbines was already demolished last week, the same fate awaiting two others during the year 2023.

According to wind farm operator Energiekontor, the five remaining aging turbines could also be gone by the end of next year, as their operating license nears its expiry date.

After taking the reins in Berlin in December 2021, the coalition government of Olaf Scholz presented an ambitious program providing for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

However, those plans were effectively put on hold after the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, which saw gas prices soar in part due to sanctions imposed on Moscow. The situation escalated further in early September when Russia cut off gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which was then damaged by an explosion.

In a bid to ensure the country’s energy security, at the end of September the authorities in Berlin ordered that unused lignite mines could be revived. The shutdown of coal-fired power plants has also been postponed to March 2024.

However, the Ministry of Economy and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia again called on RWE on Monday to reconsider its plan to dismantle the wind farm.

« In the current situation, all potential for the use of renewable energies must be exhausted as much as possible and existing turbines must be operated as long as possible,“, argued the officials.

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