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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Germany not dismantling windfarms to expand coal mines

The report states that one of eight turbines installed at the location in Germany in 2001 has already been removed.

The German Embassy in South Africa has dismissed the spread of misleading reports about dismantling windfarms to expand coal mines in Germany.

This comes after it emerged that a wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite mine.


The report states that one of eight turbines installed at the location in 2001 has already been removed.

“Nevertheless, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as did RWE, the company that owns the mine,” the report said.

The turbines were in operation since 2001, and government subsidies have expired. Energiekontor and wpd, which is also active in the Balkans, operate the wind farm.

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In a Twitter thread, the German Embassy said the reports have been misconstrued.

“Some people in South Africa are spreading a misleading story about Germany dismantling windfarms to expand coal mines.

“Here are the facts. It’s actually not a windfarm but one 20-year-old windmill (perhaps 5 more next year when they have reached the end of their operational permit). In the province of Northrine-Westphalia (NRW) alone, there are 3 547 windmills in operation. Over the next 5 years, NRW is building 1 000 more,” it said.

Mine dismantling windmill

The embassy said a mine is dismantling the windmill.  

“It is not ‘Germany’ that is dismantling the unit, it is the mining company. Germany has decided by law to exit coal by 2038 at the latest. We’re working hard to complete the exit well before 2030.”

Spokesperson for the German Embassy, Christopher Schmidt, also dismissed the reports as misleading.

“It’s misleading because it insinuates that Germany has somehow changed its policy and is moving away from renewables and back to coal. This is just wrong. Germany is still using coal because neither for South Africa nor for Germany is it possible to exit coal immediately. It’s a decades long process,” he tweeted.”

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