The environmental organization Greenpeace, through Greenpeace Energy, its power company, aims to buy from the RWE consortium, the Rhineland mining basin in Germany. This is the largest coal mining facility in Europe. The group intends to shut it down along with the thermal power plants that it feeds and build in its land the largest renewable energy park in the continent.
A spokesman for Greenpeace announced yesterday that the project plans to phase-in the open-pit coal mines and RWE power plants in that region until 2020, to terminate their activity in 2025. Instead, several wind farms and photovoltaic plants will be built with a total capacityt of 8.2 gigawatts, the power equivalent to that of eight nuclear power plants.
The initiative, backed by several economic, ecological and social studies to certify its viability, would have a total cost of 7,000 million euros and does not foresee a single dismissal, since all the RWE personnel affected would be relocated. Greenpeace´s energy plan would prevent the emission of 441 million tons of CO2.
Speaking to Spiegel Online, Udo Sieverding, an energy expert at the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer office, highlights that both the budget and the financing of the project are reliable. Greenpeace proposes to create a cooperative in which citizens, municipalities and private companies, primarily from the region, participate.
Thanks to the economy of scale, the new plants could be built without ecological subsidies and investors would achieve yields of 5% to 7%. “The calculations are realistic: Greenpeace Energy has the competence to build these plants at a low price and supply their energy to customers,” Sieverding said. Greenpeace Energy is about to start negotiations with the federal government.
Greenpeace’s fight against nuclear and coal
On March 13, Greenpeace presented at its headquarters in Madrid the report One unique way: 2025 without coal or nuclear energy.
Some of the conclusions Greenpeace presented are mentioned above:
- The difference between the total cost of the current energy scenario and one without coal or nuclear energy is 1.8%, which represents an assumable amount of 186 million euros.
- The disappearance of coal means an important saving in CO2 emissions.
- The progressive closure of nuclear power plants in 2025 would translate into an increase in the cost of the system ranging from 800 to 1,200 million euros.