The most polluting coal plant in Europe will close in 2036

The most polluting coal plant in Europe will close in 2036

The Polish authorities have set a date to shut down the Belchatow plant, which produces 20% of the national electricity

The Belchatow plant in Poland (Wikipedia) The goal is to close the power plant coal of Belchatow, the most polluting in Europe, in 2036. This was announced by the Polish authorities of the Lodz region, where the power plant is located, presenting the plan to access European funds for the ecological transition. According to Polish law, the plant could have remained in operation until 2049. However, the state-owned energy company that operates power plants and mines, Pge, has decided to abandon the development of a new mine to power the power plant, considering it too expensive.

Poland hosts the largest number of mines of coal in Europe, after Germany, and derives 80% of its national energy needs from coal-fired power plants. Recently, the government, industry and social partners have indicated 2049 as the year of leaving the dependence on coal for electricity. However, under the growing pressure of the European Union and following the increase in costs related to CO 2 emissions and the reduction of financing for fossil fuels, the PGE and the Polish government are beginning to evaluate alternative and lower climate impact routes.

The Belchatow plant produces 20% of the national electricity and about 38 million tons of CO 2 every year. About the same amount produced by all of New Zealand in the same time frame, underlines the climate action law firm Client Earth, which has initiated numerous legal actions against the Belchatow plant. Its closure is therefore a key component for the Polish energy transition and for achieving the zero emissions target by 2050 across Europe.

PGE CEO Wojciech Dąbrowski, who until a few months ago was working on the construction of a new opencast coal mine, called the closure of the Belchatow plant "symbolic". “Programming the shutdown dates of the plant and abandoning the exploitation plan of the Zloczew coal deposit - he said in a statement reported by the Nasdaq website - are actions of fundamental importance for planning the future of the employees and inhabitants of the region. Furthermore, they are also symbolic because the success of this project will determine the success of the Polish energy transition ”.

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