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Nothing good about gas

40 million tons of carbon emissions avoided by an administrative decision!

The Clean Energy for Munich network (Netzwerk Saubere Energie München) and Protect the Planet succeeded in preventing a GuD3 gas-fired power plant being built at the Unterföhring site. The Munich utility company (SWM) was notified on 9 June 2022 that they had failed in their attempt to seek approval from the Upper Bavarian government, which means their new gas-fired power plant, the so-called GuD3 (the GuD 1 and 2 are based in HKW Süd), may not be built or operated.

The Munich utility company (SWM) wanted to build and operate a major, new, gas-fired power plant in Unterföhring in the north of the city. To refinance itself, the new gas-fired plant would have had to continue operating until the 2060s and, over that period, would have emitted more than 40 million tons of CO2. Yet the city had already committed to climate neutrality by 2035 and promised, in a rather unambitious move, to expand geothermal capacity as its “heat transformation by 2040” policy.

Indispensable” was how SWM described its plan to build and operate its 3rd  combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant, or GuD3. It was intended to replace the coal unit of HKW Nord II which will be mothballed from 2026 and, according to the outcome of the 2017 local referendum, should be taken off the grid as soon as possible.

The report of TÜV-Süd in October 2019 and the Freiburg Oil Institute in November 2019 made it clear that a new gas-fired power plant was not indispensable and that there were more climate-friendly, cost-effective and quicker alternatives than a new-build gas plant. This included expansion of geothermal capacity, an interim “small-scale heating solution” that had been developed for extreme weather situations to ensure security of supply.

This was inconsistent with the City Council’s “Munich should do no harm” catch cry of 1999, the “climate emergency” declaration of 2019 and “climate neutrality by 2035” promise.

Together with the Clean Energy for Munich network (Netzwerk Saubere Energie München) and many partner organisations and some very committed civilians, we helped ensure Munich did not enter the gas generation game.

In August 2022 the local council in Unterföhring made public a development planning decision that limited the operation of power generation in Unterföhring to renewables or green hydrogen only. And with no planning permission in accordance with the development plan, there were clear legal principles preventing the construction of any other plants.
This was a huge coup for the people of Munich and the Clean Energy for Munich network. After all, our joint action saved the city from 40 million tons of CO2 emissions!


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More detailed information:

Clean Energy for Munich network (Netzwerk Saubere Energie München): Exit Spirit Energy! Say goodbye to gas and oil generation

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