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European nations urge subsidy extension for coal plants


13 Sept 2018 14:50

13 Sept 2018 14:50

(Montel) Six European nations have called for government subsidies to be extended to coal-fired plants in capacity mechanisms beyond 2030, according to a working paper published earlier this month.

France, Poland, Ireland, the UK, Greece and Hungary demanded a "suitable and realistic transition period for existing installations that do not yet meet the emission[s] criteria”, they added in the paper published on NGO Climate Action Network’s (CAN) website.

This comes ahead of the European Commission’s next trilogue talks on electricity market design next Monday and Tuesday.

According to EC proposals, new or existing coal-fired power plants as part of capacity mechanisms must no longer receive state subsidies by 2025.

“French shame”

"It is shameful to see France, Italy and the UK backing up Poland’s desperate efforts to secure subsidies for their coal plants through capacity mechanisms," Joanna Flisowska, CAN's coal policy co-ordinator, told Montel

Poland, which has some of the most polluted cities in the world, produces 81% of its electricity from coal and lignite. Its reserves could cover the needs of the country for 150 years.

For the NGO, the proposal from the six nations "is in stark contradiction to their commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement", which aims to limit the rise in global temperature to below 2C by 2100.

If this group of countries won, coal plants in Europe would continue to receive state subsidies beyond the 2030s, Flisowska said.

France’s energy minister Francois de Rugy was not available to comment.

Concerns about a lack of investment in electricity generation capacity to meet peak demand have prompted several EU member states to introduce subsidies for making capacity available, in the form of capacity mechanisms.

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