12 May 2022

Slovakia presses ahead with coal phase out as solution to energy crisis

Bratislava, 12 May 2022 – Slovakia has confirmed that the country’s 266MW Novácky coal power plant will close as planned at the end of 2023, demonstrating that European countries can proceed with their coal phase out plans and reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels at the same time. 

The Novácky coal plant is the country’s second largest carbon emitter, producing 1.16 million tonnes of CO2 in 2021 [1], and some of the most expensive electricity in Europe [2]. The government announced in 2018 that it would end all subsidies for coal mines by the beginning of 2023, signalling the end for the two mines that feed Novácky, and the plant itself. Plans are already being made to supplement the retired capacity with 80MW of solar, which will be built on the soon-to-be retired coal sites. 

Slovakia is right to stick to its coal phase out plan because ending financial flows for Russian aggression, tackling the energy price crisis, and halting climate change require the same solution: stop burning fossil fuels,” said Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director at Europe Beyond Coal. “Slovakia’s decision to convert disused coal sites into solar farms is a smart one. These large open spaces possess much of the infrastructure required to host solar installations, and combined with advanced energy storage technologies, can consistently deliver a base load of low cost, sustainable fossil-free energy. Governments across Europe should look at how cheap and straightforward these conversions are and incorporate them into their own crisis response strategies.” 

In another sign that coal’s structural decline remains firmly locked-in, the Bulgarian Minister of Environment last month announced that operations at the country’s 71 year-old, 120 MW lignite-fired Maritsa III power plant would be suspended following sustained violations of air quality standards [3]. The plant’s operator is appealing the decision.  

ENDS

Contacts

Alastair Clewer, Senior Communications Manager, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185 (English)

Michael Buchsbaum, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 8106 8005 (English, German)

Kathrin Gutmann, Campaign Director, Europe Beyond Coal,
[email protected], +49 1577 8363 036

Notes

  1. https://ec.europa.eu/clima/eu-action/eu-emissions-trading-system-eu-ets/union-registry_en#tab-0-1
  2. Slovakia’s Novácky coal power plant produces some of the most expensive electricity in Europe: https://e.dennikn.sk/2801305/dostat-sem-jadrove-palivo-z-ruska-bolo-ako-vystupit-na-mount-everest-v-plavkach-hovori-riaditel-slovenskych-elektrarni/ 
  3. https://www.energetika.net/eu/novice/bulgaria/bulgarian-maritsa-3-coal-plant-forced-to-halt-operations
  4. View our European Coal Plant Countdown: https://beyond-coal.eu/

About
Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. We devote our time and resources to this independent campaign because we are committed to seeing a European energy system that protects people, nature and our global climate: www.beyond-coal.eu

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