During the last weeks, the topic lignite-based power generation and climate change has been a national and international issue. Here in the forest grew the popularity and support for the forest occupation. More and more people are choosing to become more active and move in here. External support is also steadily increasing. People bring food, materials and water, enabling the growing number of activists to be here permanently.
The RWE-group, which emits 223836 tons of CO₂ every day, is severely disturbed by the actions of (small) groups in its work.
Various (blockade) actions resulted in empirical values about their effectiveness.
1. Water Pumps
RWE operates over 2,000 pumps in the Rhenish mining district to reduce the groundwater level. It is known that from the side of the Hambach Forest, RWE has got problems with water ingresses in the open pit. This stems in part from the fact that in the forest itself no pumping stations could be built (is possibly changing at the moment). They characterize the landscapes around the open pit, on fields, in forests, along the roadsides. They are usually recognizable by pipes and power distribution boxes.
2. Access Roads
In order to clear the forest, clearing machines enter the forest by certain access roads during the deforesting weeks. In the last couple of years, they had to be rerouted often, because at the same time people had breakfast on the roads, which was even approved by the police.
3. Mine – Excavators and Conveyor Belts
During the last years several excavators were occupied. In some cases hat took several days, because the police did not have enough climbing units available. It has been shown that a permanent blockade of the open pit is necessary to stop the coal supply to the power plants.
4. Lignite bunker in the mine
From there, the power plants are supplied with coal. The extracted coal from the opencast mine is initially stored in the bunker and then delivered to the power plants via the Hambach Railway. Without the supply by the coal bunker in the open pit, a performance reduction can be achieved within a few hours!
5. Hambach Railway
The Hambach Railway is the largest private railway in Germany. If the coal can be loaded from the coal bunker, this so called Hambachbahn runs every 10 minutes 24/7, 365 days a year to the power plants.
The Hambach Railway is powered from two points, both of which are near the coal bunkers.
The power plants Niederaußen and Frimmersdorf are supplied with coal from two sides (Hambach and Garzweiler)!
During the last years there have been different types of actions.
- Tripod on the tracks
- Sit ins
- Hambach Railway Party
- and more…
By means of a 24-hour blockade in phases, a throttling of the power plant was achieved, which was even reflected in the balance sheet of the Group.
6. Lignite bunker in the power plant
As was shown some days ago, such a blockade is very effective (Weisweiler – throttling around 92 percent!)
7. Power supply
The RWE structures mentioned in points 1-6 are all powered by electricity.
8. Access roads that are relevant in case of evictions
The Hambach Railway was moved to the south to make room for the opencast mine. Since then, the number of access roads to the forest has decreased. With vehicles in large numbers it is easily accessible only a few points.
Note: The other mines and power plants in the entire Rhenish lignite mining area work in a very similar way …
Note 2: Not listed separately is the RWE headquarters in Essen and all other office buildings all over Germany, which ensure the constant profit maximization of the group …