Volkswagen Swapping Coal Plants For Gas Turbines to Trim CO2 Emissions

Volkswagen is shutting down two coal-fired plants at the company’s Wolfsburg production facility as an effort to trim the automaker’s emissions and impact on climate change.

Volkswagen Group Chair Herbert Diess made the announcement Friday though a post on LinkedIn. The plants will be replaced, though, by gas turbine fired plants instead of a completely renewable or sustainable alternative. Still, the move will remove 60 percent of the CO2 emissions of the coal plants, Diess said.

Diess expresses disappointment, though, that a 1.5 billion investment into new coal plants is being made 200 miles away at a new coal-fired power bland in Datteln, Germany at the same time VW spends 400 million euros to phase out coal. “If Germany does not make progress on the phase-out of coal, we cannot expect others to do so either,” he wrote.

Diess says that VW’s switch to gas will save the equivalent of 870,000 cars worth of emissions. More importantly, the executive wrote, Volkswagen turned down multiple requests from companies who wanted to purchase the old coal plants and rebuild them elsewhere in the world, meaning that it’s not a simple passing of the emissions buck to another company, region, or country.