Column: Europe’s clashes over coal may extend well beyond Poland – by Gavin Maguire (Reuters – June 20, 2023)

LITTLETON, Colorado, June 20 (Reuters) – European Union members clashed over proposals to extend subsidies for coal plants this week and could not agree on planned new rules for the bloc’s power market, which has been in disarray since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The disagreements centered around prolonging subsidies for coal plants to keep capacity on standby to avert blackouts, with Poland cited as a key regional power producer that may be negatively affected if the subsidies were scrapped.

However, while Poland may be Europe’s most coal-dependent economy with roughly 70% of electricity coming from coal, it is far from being Europe’s only economy with a vested interest in extending the life of its power plants.

Nine other European countries relied on coal for more than 10% of electricity generation as of 2022, including Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Czechia and Greece, according to data from Ember.

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