Coal plant owner call for switch to biomass

The coal operated power plant at Eemshaven
The RWE coal operated power plant at Eemshaven, Groningen. Nov. 23, 2012WutsjeWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

Energy giant RWE is calling on the Dutch government to reconstruct the last five coal plants in the Netherlands to run on biomass, instead of closing them completely. According to the company, this will reduce CO2 emissions even more and make best use of existing infrastructure, reports. 

One of the Dutch's government goals, as stated in the government agreement, is to shut down the last five coal-fire plants in the country by 2030. This measure is necessary in order to reduce the production of CO2, as agreed at the climate convention in Paris.

Obviously energy giants like RWE are not in love with the idea. Two of the five installations, on the Maasvlakte and the Groningse Eemshaven, opened only recently and together they cost around 6 billion euros. Instead of shutting down the coal-fired plants, they should be rebuilt in order to work on biomass. In this way more CO2 can be saved, says Taco Douma, director of the German energy giant RWE 

"We have to get rid of the coals, not the installations. Those are already standing there, so we better recycle them", Douma told newspaper AD.

Douma's goal for 2030 is to get the two installations in Geertruidenberg and in the Eemshaven running 100% on biomass. "We could also capture the CO2 released. At a later stage we will need that carbon as raw material for bioplastics and other products than now are still made with gaseous fossils (oil and gas)". If the installations are recycled it will be possible to save up to four times the greenhouse gases than if they were shut down, Douma said.

RWE will receive in the next 8 years around 1 billion euros as subsidy to get his installations running on biomass in Geertruidenberg and in Eemshaven, according to