Germany is an enlightened leader in the global battle to reduce CO2 emissions, a pioneer in renewable energy and community power projects and a champion of energy efficiency.
Or so they say...
Ask the 250 other residents of Atterwasch, a quiet village near the Polish border, face eviction from their home of 30 years to make way for the Janschwalde-Nord coal mine.
And not just any old coal, but lignite, the dirtiest form of this ancient fossil fuel that is mined in vast opencast pits.
If the plans go ahead, the village, parts of which date back more than 700 years, will be demolished.
"Since the plans for the mine were unveiled in 2007, we have lived with this constant threat, which has taken over the lives of every individual and the community as a whole," says Mrs Schulz-Hopfner.
In the eastern German region of Lausitz, nine villages are under threat, where up to 3,000 people could lose their homes to make way for five new lignite mines that are fuelling the country's renewed thirst for coal. Two further mines are under consideration.
The mines are needed to power a new generation of coal power plants.
Two new lignite plants were opened in 2012, with a further two in the pipeline. Another two hard coal plants also opened last year, with a further five opening this year or next, with two more awaiting licences.
The effects are already being felt. Lignite production in 2012 hit its highest level for almost 20 years, while initial estimates suggest this brown coal was used to generate 162bn kWh of electricity last year, more than in any year since 1990. The use of hard coal also increased, meaning the two energy sources accounted for 46% of Germany's overall energy production.
found at - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26820405