In the current energy crisis, ensuring security of supply is vital. At the same time, protecting the climate remains one of the key challenges of our time. RWE supports both. The company invests billions of euros into accelerating the energy transition and is bringing the exit from lignite forward from 2038 to 2030. At the same time, RWE contributes to security of supply in Germany during the crisis by temporarily ramping up utilisation of its lignite-fired power plants and continuing to operate power plant units that had been earmarked for earlier decommissioning. In this way, natural gas, which has become a scarce commodity since Russia started to wage war against Ukraine, is being pushed out of electricity generation. The temporary ramping up of lignite utilisation can only succeed if opencast mining progresses as planned.
By bringing the exit from coal forward to 2030, the amount of coal that can be mined from Garzweiler will be approximately halved, meaning that the third relocation phase for the villages of Keyenberg, Kuckum, Oberwestrich, Unterwestrich and Berverath, which are still partially inhabited, including the three farmsteads of Holzweiler (Eggeratherhof, Roitzerhof, Weyerhof) will not need to go ahead. However, the coal under the former settlement of Lützerath, which is located close to the current edge of the Garzweiler Mine, will soon be needed to make optimal use of the lignite fleet during the energy crisis and sufficient earth must be excavated for recultivating areas previously used for opencast mining. All necessary licences and court orders to this end have been granted. All original inhabitants left the village quite some time ago.
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The appropriation of Lützerath is part of a political agreement between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of The State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and RWE and has also been written into federal law.
You can find a detailed description of these aspects and a large selection of relevant documents about the matter here (sorry, in German only).