Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wind farm giant-a global polluter chasing the 'green' buck

Ancient Tumulus: Clocaenog Forest.

Those environmentalist like myself who see the headlong ‘rush for wind’ as a profit driven scam, would not be at all surprised to learn that one of Europe's biggest energy companies, the German giant RWE corporation who are currently trashing Clocaenog Forest to construct a huge 33 turbine wind farm. A development which will have a devastating impact on wildlife, the destabilization of the water table leading to potential flooding and loss of amenity for locals and visitors to the forest-are also one of Europes biggest investors in coal power. 

The website Facing Finance reports that.... “RWE is continuing to invest heavily in coal power plants, currently operating 15 (11 in Germany, 2 in the UK and 2 in the Netherlands). Many of these are more than 40 years old and 11 of them burn lignite, which creates more carbon emission than hard coal. RWE is also building a new coal fired power plant in Hamm, North Rhine Westphalia and another in Eemshaven in the Netherlands. RWE has built two new units for the lignite-fuelled plant in Neurath, Germany in 2014 and is pressing ahead with plans to build another in Niederhaussem close to the German border with Belgium. Lignite is mainly produced in opencast mines, which demands the opening up of large areas. This has a devastating impact on the environment and in many cases whole villages need to be resettled.’

Facing Finance describe themselves as an organisation which ‘calls on investors not to invest in companies profiting from violations of human rights, environmental pollution, corruption or the production of controversial weapons.’

The hugely profitable wind industry fueled by generous publicly funded subsidies, has attracted many investors from the so called ‘dirty energy’ sector. Including those whose business interests include coal, gas and oil. The UK’s Channel 4 News recently uncovered the latest scam which sees those running larger turbines which produce more power, tweeking their turbines so they produce less power to take advantage of the higher subsidies which small turbines attract. Channel 4’s science reporter noted that this wheeze will see the energy companies making an extra £2m per turbine in a twenty year period.  An action which totally confirms that wind turbine construction is not about creating ‘clean energy’ and reducing Co2 emissions but all about creating profits for shareholders and land owners.

Facing Finance report RWE’s energy investments confirms the company as a leading global polluter and contributor of emissions.  Writing that  “ RWE ranks in the global top 10 utilities with the highest carbon emissions and one of the highest in Europe. Other research has classified RWE as number six responsible for emissions attributed to coal and as number 11 with regard to cumulative global industrial emissions between 1751 and 2010, being Germany’s CO2 emitter number 1.

Wind Power....it’s a dirty business alright!

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