Vattenfall Prior to Anti-Coal Protest: Lignite Reliable Partner to Volatile Renewables

Several environmental organisations will protest against the usage of brown coal for energy production in the Lusatia region this Saturday.

Vattenfall Prior to Anti-Coal Protest Lignite Reliable Partner to Volatile Renewables

Activists from several countries will try to form an eight kilometre human chain between Kerkwitz in Germany and Grabice in Poland. Greenpeace, Bund and Berliner Energietisch are some of the organisations that will take part in the anti-coal chain on Saturday (23 August). The initiative is targeting plans to expand lignite mining in the region.

Vattenfall has announced its ambition to extend two existing open cast mines: Nochten and Welzow-Süd.

The federal states of Brandenburg and Saxony have approved the plans and Vattenfall presently continues to work with the permission processes. This is expected to last for two to three years. Only after that a final approval from the authorities is expected.

The Polish energy group PGE has also announced plans to expand lignite mining in the Polish part of the region.

Partnering renewables

Wolfgang Rolland, Head of Business Communication Mining and Generation, reiterates Vattenfall’s firm conviction to be a partner in the German energy turnaround (Energiewende). “Vattenfall is investing heavily in renewable energy production in Germany. Last week we announced the decision to construct the Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German North Sea together with Stadtwerke München.” 

However, lignite will be crucial to meet the German electricity demand. It is also considered a reliable partner to volatile renewable energy sources since lignite can be used to balance load according to Rolland. “Lignite’s share of the gross production of electricity in Germany has been at a stable level of 25 per cent for the last 15 years.” 

Press release, August 22, 2014; Image: Vattenfall (Illustration)
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