Europe’s biggest coal extraction area Garzweiler

October 9th, 2013

Like dinosaurs of steel, excavators are working their way through the biggest coal extraction area between Aachen and Cologne, day by day.
Garzweiler, once a town in that area is known as a synonym for the extraction of coal today.

In the beginning of September 2013, I took the chance of a photo-flight over the region to document the working progress, which was planned long ago.
The machines can go into depths of up to 250m and they don’t stop for houses or farmland.
By the time, 14 villages were “moved” and thousands of people lost their homes. The so called mining law makes sure that natural resources can be reached  but farmers don’t get a single cent for their lands.

In 2045 the machines would have processed four billion tons of coal on an area of 100 square kilometers. About 7600 people could loose their homes.
On ray of hope remains: Alternative energies (wind, sun) are able to put pressure on the power market price and further more the mining.
RWE will announce a savings plan in November.

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Quelle: Süddeutsche Zeitung
Fotos: © Geerd H. Jacobs