How many windmills does it take to stop a coal power plant?

Feature story - November 7, 2008
More than 80 activists occupied the site of E.ON's proposed coal fired power-plant in Antwerp Harbour – setting up over four thousand tiny windmills and painting the message "Flanders Quit Coal" on the tarmac.

Less than 12 percent of the 50 billion euros E.ON plans to spend between 2008-2010 to expand its power generation will be on renewable energy.

The action illustrates the choice facing the Flemish authorities. They can allow the construction of another climate changing coal power plant or invest in wind power and greater energy independence.

We're also meeting with the Cabinet of Flemish Minister President, Kris Peeters, to debate how the region can take concrete steps towards a future free from dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power.

German electricity provider E.ON envisages the construction of a huge coal power plant in Antwerp. The plant would emit some 6 million tonnes of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to half of what is already coming from Belgium's six other coal power plants!

Just say NO!

Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels. A third of all CO2 emissions come from coal and, if business continues as usual, this could increase to 60 percent by 2030.

E.ON plans to spend 50 billion euros between 2008-2010 to expand its power generation across Europe. But only 12 percent of this will be invested in renewable sources of energy. E.ON plans to build eight new coal plants in Germany, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands (costing around1.2 billion euros each) and to construct another 2000MW of coal-fired capacity in the rest of the EU.

Plug into the wind

This action comes after the Rainbow Warrior demonstrated the potential of a North Sea electricity grid by simulating the connection of the first Belgian offshore wind farm to those of neighbouring countries. The interconnection of North Sea wind farms would increase the reliability of clean wind energy and allows it to be combined with other renewable energy sources, like hydraulic energy from Norway.

Our ships the Arctic Sunrise and the Rainbow Warrior have been bringing the "Quit Coal" message to the Mediterranean and Europe, during a four month expedition, in the run-up to crucial UN climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland, this December.

In order to kickstart an energy [r]evolution that will save the climate - the world needs to give coal the boot NOW!

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