RWE considers reducing coal extraction at Hambach mine by one third
The ruling by a German court to stop the clearing of the embattled Hambach Forest has prompted energy company RWE to consider reducing coal extraction at its nearby lignite mine by up to one third, Claus Hecking and Stefan Schultz write on Spiegel Online. The company has so far mined about 40 million tonnes of lignite per year at the Hambach mine but may lower the output by 10 to 15 million tonnes or 25 to 38 percent, the article says. The power output of the connected coal plants Neurath and Niederaußem would consequently have to fall by 9 to 13 terawatt hours (TWh), RWE says. The company expects that its excavators in the mine will have to stand still by the end of 2019, since the nearby forest cannot be cut down for now and the mine’s edges cannot be stabilised, it argues. “As a result, the excavators from deeper levels of the mine will run aground in a domino-effect and eventually no longer be able to dig out coal,” a company spokesman said.
Read the article in German here.
See the CLEW article Court’s halt to forest clearing fans talk of easier German coal exit and the factsheet Coal in Germany for more information.