On Saturday, May 30, 2020, which may be Germany’s last coal-fired power station, finally opened, after nearly 10 years of delay. The Datteln-4 facility located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region and owned by the energy company based in Dusseldorf Uniper began operations in tumultuous times when coal was seen not as a means of progress but as an enemy of environmental ambitions.
I’m from activists and politicians
The development of a new coal-fired power plant should have been completed about 10 years ago when the political environment was far less hostile to such efforts and when coal was not seen as the number one enemy of environmental transitions.
The unfortunate time of opening this facility also follows the German government’s ambition to completely stop coal-based generation by 2038, pledging to close all coal-fired power plants and to be present amidst a wave of support for an environmentally friendly agenda on all sides of the political spectrum.
Political parties throughout Germany quickly realized the importance of the environment as an item on any political agenda after the 2019 European Elections, when the Green Party received a lot of support. In the following months and until the coronavirus pandemic, it was Green who did a neck poll with Christian Democrat Angela Merkel himself.
Drastic shifts in voter priorities encourage all parties in the country to adopt a more environmentally friendly attitude, effectively leading to a promise that Germany will abolish coal completely in the coming years and that 8 of the last coal-fired power plants will become closed during the year 2020. And while the opening of a new factory may appear to contradict these goals, North-Rhine Westphalia authorities believe that the inauguration of Dattlen-4 will be compensated in terms of environmental impact by the closure of 4 other similar plants in the region.
Like the article? Customer to our bulletin to receive the latest from EU cities directly in your inbox.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]