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Portugal confirms coal phase-out before 2030

16 Nov 2017, 6.41 pm GMT

Portugal confirms coal phase-out before 2030

London, 16 November (Argus) — Portugal will completely phase out power sector coal burn before 2030, environment minister Joao Matos said today.

The government has confirmed that it will close the 1.1GW Sines and 577MW Pego coal-fired plants before 2030. These are the country's only remaining operational coal-fired plants.

Lisbon will remove tax exemptions for coal-fired generation from next year to encourage the power sector to become coal-free. It will also reform the national carbon tax.

Coal-fired generation has been higher this year, totalling 11.3TWh in January-October, up by 2TWh on the same period last year.

Production from the two coal-fired plants has been supported by weaker hydropower production amid reserves below long-term averages.

Matos said that solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and battery storage projects are the key things the government will focus on in the coming years in order to be "carbon neutral by 2050".

Portugal's solar PV capacity totalled 439MW in 2016, according to data from transmission system operator REN. A 221MW solar PV farm is under construction and scheduled to start operating by mid-2019.

France to close coal-fired plants by 2021

France will close all its coal-fired plants by 2021 rather than by the 2022 target previously set, President Emmanuel Macron said today.

France's five remaining coal-fired plants with a combined capacity of 2.9GW out of an overall installed capacity of 100GW will close earlier than previously scheduled as part of a promise Macron made during the presidential campaign.

French state-controlled utility EdF operates three of the plants, while German utility Uniper operates two sites.

Coal-fired generation accounts for around 1.5pc of domestic generation each year, with the highest utilisation rates in the winter months, power grid operator RTE data show.

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