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Poland, Greece reject Eurelectric's no new coal plant after 2020 plan

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Poland, Greece reject Eurelectric's no new coal plant after 2020 plan

Brussels — Poland and Greece's power sector associations have not signed up toEurelectric members' commitment not to build new coal power plants after 2020,the European power sector association said Wednesday.

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"Greece and Poland...were not ready to back this statement at this pointin time," Eurelectric secretary general Kristian Ruby told reporters inBrussels as he presented the statement of intent.

"Our Polish member association said that lignite and coal remains astrategic domestic resource for them," he said.

Eurelectric represents 3,500 companies across the European power sector,excluding transmission system operators, with an aggregate turnover of Eur200billion ($213 billion).

All Eurelectric's other member associations agreed with the statementsaying the power sector "does not intend to invest in new-build coal-firedpower plants after 2020."

Poland and Greece are the only two EU countries where newbuild coal after2020 seems likely, given existing plans.

Polish plans include Energa and Enea's 1 GW Ostroleka C coal-fired plantat Mazowieckie, due online in 2023, and PGE's proposed 3 GW lignite plant atGubin, Lubuskie, to come online in 2030.

Meanwhile Polish developer Kompania Weglowa has suspended its plans tobring a 1 GW coal-fired plant at Czeczott Wola, Slaskie online by the end of2020.

Greece's PPC has started building the 660 MW Ptolemaida V lignitecombined heat and power plant at Kozani, due online in 2020.

PPC also wants to build a 350-450 MW lignite plant at Meliti, Florina, tocome online in 2021.

The only other potential post-2020 coal project is in Croatia, where HEPhad planned to bring the Plomin C 500 MW plant at Istria online by late 2019,but there has been no progress on this since 2015.


Polish and Greek member associations did support the rest ofEurelectric's statement, however, including renewing the sector's commitmentto deliver carbon-neutral power by 2050.

"Our Polish member association is fully committed to being carbon neutralby 2050 -- it wants a broad set of tools to achieve this," Ruby said. "Also 2050 is 33 years away -- a lot of new low-carbon solutions couldemerge before then," he said.

Ruby said Eurelectric was still against the European Commission'sproposals to set a 550g CO2/kWh limit for new power plants eligible to takepart in national capacity remuneration mechanisms.

The proposal is part of the EU's draft package of clean energylegislation that is likely to be approved and adopted around late 2018 orearly 2019.

The limit, if included in the final legislation, would effectively barcoal-fired power plants from such mechanisms where a final investment decisionis taken after the new rules become binding.

The limit would be less relevant now for the Eurelectric members whichhave committed not to invest in new coal after 2020.

"We still have a principled reservation against using command and controlmethods [like the limit] in the European power market," Ruby said.

"Our position is that emissions should be handled by the EU EmissionsTrading System," he said.

The EC also proposed that existing power plants which exceed the limitwould only be allowed to take part in capacity mechanisms for five years afterthe rules become binding.

The limit is most relevant for Poland, as it depends heavily oncoal-fired power plants and is planning a national capacity mechanism.

--Siobhan Hall, by James Leech,