A court in the Netherlands has decided that an application to develop a new $2.25bn coal-fired power plant is legally compliant.
An environmental license granted for the coal plant had been challenged but the Council of State, but the court has dismissed objections by environmental groups including Greenpeace to the 1.6 GW plant in Eemshaven.
Completion of the plant, under construction since 2008 and which is expected to supply electricity to 2 million Dutch and German households, had been delayed due to environmental concerns over its location near nature reserves, including mud flats and islands off the Dutch and German North Sea coast.
Roger Miesen, Chair of RWE Netherlands, told Power Engineering International, “We are satisfied with the fact that Council of State ruled that the issuing authorities and RWE did fulfil the requirements and that the Nature Permits are irrevocable now, too. The Eemshaven power plant is one of the most modern plants in the world. It is very flexible so it can balance the volatile production of solar and wind energy in an ideal way what is crucial for the security of supply in the Netherlands. Both blocks of the power plant are in commercial operation since the middle of 2015 and our staff is happy that the plant can be run in normal operation further on.”
Governments endorsed the plant as Germany seeks to end nuclear power generation by 2020 and Dutch natural gas fields are in decline.
RWE's Dutch subsidiary Essent argued that coal has the additional benefit of being relatively cheap and "coming largely from politically stable countries."