SPAIN is due to close seven out a total 15 coal fuelled power plants after EU restrictions have cut profitability in the sector drastically.
On June 30, the plants in A Coruña, Asturias, León, Teruel, Córdoba and Palencia will close their doors for the last time.
Increases in penalties for the production of CO2 emissions to 25 per ton have caused traditional fossil fuel factories to fall behind natural and renewable energy sources.
A large drop in the price of natural gas due to European surpluses have also encouraged energy companies to replace outdated coal production with gas.
These restrictions imposed by the EU and more specifically the European Commission, have seen the decline in Spain’s coal industry for a number of years.
Prior to 2018, coal represented 15% of total greenhouse emissions however since then that figure has dropped to just 1.4%.
Projects such as Gran Canarias’ revolutionary floating wind farm are a clear sign that Spain is heading in the right direction to combat climate change.
The decision by operators Naturgy, Endesa, Viesgo and Iberdrola to close the factories will be welcome news to the Spanish government who are pushing for Spain to be carbon neutral by 2050.
According to Tatiana Nuño, climate change specialist at NGO Greenpeace, “The way things are going, I think there will no longer be any coal generation by 2025.”
Of the eight remaining plants, four have applied for closure including the Litoral plant in Almería.
The other four have yet to apply but their future remains hanging in the balance.
The closures will leave 1,100 workers out of employment, but plants have been required to have in place fair transition agreements to ensure the impact of unemployment is minimal.
What the BOE agreements do not take into consideration are the economic impacts of the plants in the areas where they represent the areas only industry.
The closure of a plant will take a number of years and a large amount of paperwork, which will give the Spanish government a safety net to ensure that communities centered around the industry are not affected.