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No Coal for Kosovo

ContourGlobal, a power producer listed in the London Stock Exchange, has abandoned its plans to build a 500 MW coal-fired power plant in Kosovo. This decision marks the energy provider's final turning away from the construction of further coal-fired power plants - and thus follows a trend.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The planned 500-megawatt project would have covered about half of the electricity needs of the Balkan country, which is struggling with repeated power shortages, according to Reuters. But with a recent change of government in the Balkan state, it's unlikely that the project could have been built at all, according to CEO Joseph Brandt.

“As a result of the political situation in Kosovo our development project is incapable of reaching its milestones prior to the required project completion date,” ContourGlobal said in its full-year results statement.

At the same time, this decision means that ContourGlobal will no longer invest in further coal-fired power plants. The portfolio currently comprises 107 power plants in Europe, Latin America and Africa, including one additional coal-fired power plant. And that's where it will stay. "We will not develop or acquire any coal-fired power plants in the future, and we are increasingly reducing our carbon footprint as a result," the company said.

“This is good news. Political parties in the new government have clearly said they would not back this project,” Pippa Gallop of CEE Bankwatch told Reuters. Bankwatch is a global network of environmental groups operating mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.

ContourGlobal thus follows a worldwide trend. According to a recent study by think tank Carbon Tracker, more than 60 percent of the world's coal-fired power plants already generate electricity at higher cost than if it were generated by newly established renewable energy projects. By 2030 at the latest, it will be cheaper in all markets to build new wind or solar capacity than to continue operating coal-fired power plants.

Matt Gray of Carbon Tracker is co-head of Power and Utilities and co-author of the report. He said: “Renewables are outcompeting coal around the world and proposed coal investments risk becoming stranded assets which could lock in high-cost coal power for decades."


Katrin Radtke
Kosovo, coal, plant, poer production, Carbon Tracker, emissions, electricity, renewable energy, trend, cheap, costs

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