France: a coal-fired power plant could resume service this winter

France: a coal-fired power plant could resume service this winter

A coal-fired power plant in eastern France, closed on March 31, could restart this winter “in view of the Ukrainian situation” and tensions in the energy market, the French Ministry for Energy Transition confirmed on Sunday (June 26).

“We keep the possibility of being able to operate the Saint-Avold power plant for a few more hours if we need it next winter”said the ministry, confirming information from the RTL radio station.

“We would remain, in any case, below one percent of electricity produced by coal”ensures the ministry, “and no Russian coal would be used.”

There is only one other coal-fired power station, in Cordemais (west), still open in France, where more than 67% of the electricity produced is of nuclear origin, the share of fossil fuels being in 2020 7.5% including 0.3% coal and 6.9% gas.

This reboot “fits into the closure plan”assured the ministry, which specifies that the commitment of President Emmanuel Macron to close all coal-fired power plants in France “remain unchanged”.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have recently announced an increased use of coal – the most harmful fossil fuel for the climate – to compensate for the drop in Russian gas supplies to Europe.

The decision has raised concern from the European Commission and environmental organisations, which have pointed to the risk of derailing the EU’s climate ambitions.

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