Greenpeace Energy wants to buy RWE's coal ops, replace them with renewables

Greenpeace Energy's renewable energy park concept. Source: Greenpeace Energy eG

November 28 (Renewables Now) - Greenpeace Energy on Monday presented a plan to gradually take over lignite open-cast mines and power plants of RWE AG (ETR:RWE) only to shut them down and replace them with 8.2 GW of wind and solar parks.

The German electric utility said it wants to acquire RWE’s facilities in the Rheinische Revier region of Western Germany and decommission them from 2020 to 2025. Closing all mines and power plants should cost a total of EUR 384 million (USD 433.5m), according to Fabian Huneke of the Energy Brainpool institute.

In their place, Greenpeace Energy aims to install 4,357 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants and 3,758 MW of wind farms for a total cost of around EUR 7 billion on suitable former open-cast mining sites. While the company admits that the renewable power complex will be generating just a quarter of what the existing thermal power plants produce, it points out that lignite generation will decrease anyway. It is expected that in the early 2030s the current facilities will be generating less than what Greenpeace Energy’s plan envisages.

The concept prepared by the company will give citizens, municipal corporations and private companies the chance to get involved in the project financially. “Our concept is financially fair for all sides and designed so that operational redundancies can be avoided,” stated Soenke Tangermann, CEO of Greenpeace Energy. He believes that even without a remuneration under the EEG, returns of between 5% and 7% can still be expected.

Greenpeace Energy noted that it has offered to discuss its plan with both RWE and the federal government.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.129)

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