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Greece’s new lignite plant risks never being finished and operational

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World Coal,

Greece’s newest coal plant may have to halt operations mid-construction due to new EU rules that cut off subsidies the project was depending on for completion.

The new Electricity Market Regulation (EMR), which entered into force on 4 July, categorically rules out using subsidies to finance new coal plants. The one exception is if such subsidies were already agreed in a capacity mechanism that entered into force before the EMR did.

Greece tried to hurry through a new capacity mechanism in the last weeks, which ClientEarth believes was solely for the purpose of ensuring a future for lignite plant Ptolemaida V. But officially, the mechanism is not in force until the European Commission has signed off on it – which it has not done. That means that lignite plant Ptolemaida V, now the EMR is in force, is not eligible for those subsidies and may never be operational.

German lender KfW, providing much of the financing for the plant, has just announced it will no longer back coal projects.

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