RWE Power will not build the planned 1,600 MW hard-coal-fired power plant in Ensdorf against the will of the citizens. The CEO of RWE AG, Dr. Jürgen Großmann, said with disappointment: "We truly regret that we are unable to realise this important project in Ensdorf. Our country nevertheless needs new, state-of-the-art and clean power plants in order to stabilise prices, boost competition and help mitigate climate change." Such power plants are of great significance to the entire state of Germany and its attractiveness to industry. Rejecting large-scale projects would result in extending the lifetimes of older plants and in foreign power producers gaining market shares.
"We did not succeed in convincing the people in the region of the benefits offered by this power plant," said Dr. Ulrich Jobs, CEO of RWE Power AG. The company will now analyse the reasons for the outcome of this public vote. On the ballots, the community of Ensdorf had asked citizens to indicate reasons for a rejection. "After this analysis, we will seek talks with the government of the Land and withdraw our application for approval filed with the Saarland Ministry for the Environment," Jobs added.
In a public vote with a turnout of 70 percent, a large majority (70 percent) of the voters of Ensdorf decided against amending the land development plan. This plan was the precondition for realising the planned hard-coal-fired power plant with an investment volume of €2.2 billion. RWE is observing the development with great concern, as highly efficient coal-fired power plants are indispensable for the future of Germany's energy supply. Without them, dependency on gas would continue to grow considerably.
At the same time, coal-fired power plants make an important contribution to environmental protection. With an efficiency of 46 percent, setting standards worldwide, new plants of this size are not only competitive, but also reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2.5 million tons annually compared with conventional technology.