Electricity

Romania seeks coal plant closure delay from EU

Romania seeks coal plant closure delay from EU Sebastian Burduja

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Published

October 13, 2023

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Published:

October 13, 2023

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Romania has backtracked on its commitments regarding the shutdown schedule for coal power plants. Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja said he would ask the European Union for a delay in switching the units in CE Oltenia to reserve.

A study by Romania’s electricity transmission system operator Transelectrica is supposed to provide arguments for postponing some deadlines in the coal phaseout process. Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja said after a meeting of a working group responsible for the operation of thermal power plants that he would propose a delay in intermediate targets.

In return for funding through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or, in Romanian, PNRR), the government has pledged to end the use of coal by 2032. After retiring 660 MW in coal plant capacity last year, another 1.4 GW is supposed to be switched to reserve by the end of 2025, leaving only 1.1 GW online.

Romania earlier accepted the obligation to end regular supply from 1.4 GW in capacity by the end of 2025 and leave what’s left of CE Oltenia’s old units on standby

The forthcoming round would leave the capacity of state-owned Complexul Energetic (CE) Oltenia, the country’s main coal hub, only on standby. Following discussions with trade unionists, who are asking for the planned closing of a mine in Gorj to be postponed by two years, Burduja said he would take the matter to the European Commission. He pointed to the study expected from Transelectrica.

“We all want to breathe cleaner air, but we all need the light bulb to turn on when we flip the switch. Romania’s energy security comes first,” Burduja stated.

Romania is counting on leeway from the EU on account of the assistance that the government in Bucharest provided to war-torn Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, CursDeGuvernare reported.

CE Oltenia is undergoing massive transformation from coal to gas and renewables.

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