Coal in the Balkans
Most EU countries are giving up building new coal plants and finding ways to close their existing ones. In contrast, countries across southeast Europe plan new lignite power plants during the next few years.
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These plans starkly conflict with the Paris Agreement's aim of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees celsius. They also come with a slew of financial and legal risks for investors and devastating health impacts for locals.
By the numbers: where will energy come from in the western Balkans?
Blog post | March 19, 2015
A new breed of investors
Toolkit for coal campaigners in Turkey and the Balkans
In 2013 the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank virtually halted lending for new coal power plants.
Most planned plants are due to be financed by Chinese state banks – ExIm Bank and the China Development Bank (CDB).
An overview over all coal investors can be found in Bankwatch’s campaign toolkit Kings of Coal.
Balkan energy projects with Chinese involvement - state of play
Briefing | May 5, 2016
Coal is not cheap - financial and legal risks
The cost of the planned Western Balkans plants alone would be at least EUR 3.8 billion – money that would be better spent on energy efficiency and developing sustainable renewable energy.
Stricter environmental and state-aid rules
Some planned coal projects are set to breach legislation that will come into force already in 2018.
Under the Energy Community Treaty (more here >>), signed by all Western Balkans countries, Ukraine and Moldova, all new coal plants have to be in line with EU environmental standards and countries must follow EU state aid rules, prohibiting the still common subsidies to the coal industry.
Risks for coal and electricity investments in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova due to state-aid rules
Study & press briefing | June 8, 2015
Planned Balkan coal plants may breach EU pollution limits
Euractiv | June 30, 2014
Study shows risk of stranded assets
Several Western Balkan countries have ambitious plans to increase their electricity generation and become regional energy hubs. But will there be a demand for all the available electricity?
Air pollution and local opposition
Serious problems with air quality are pitting locals against coal. A multimedia briefing describes the issues in detail.
Corruption and energy in the Balkans
Building a modern energy infrastructure in south-eastern Europe must go hand in hand with strengthening the rule of law.