This briefing analyses ten coal-fired power plant projects across the Western Balkans and finds that, once the cost of carbon emissions allowances are factored in, they could become a serious liability for both the companies involved and the public.
Coal is the single biggest contributor to global climate change. But governments and investors planning new coal capacities have a range of flimsy arguments why coal would be the best or the only alternative. This briefing busts a number of myths surrounding coal, such as "coal is cheap", "alleviates poverty" or "coal is clean".
This report reveals how and why promises for new jobs in south-east Europe’s coal sector are exaggerated. Hardly any coal operations across the region are economically viable, and as a result many coal workers, especially in the mines, are set to lose their jobs, even if the plans for countless new power plants materialise. Governments, coal workers and their wider communities need to work together towards a just transition.
Countries of south-east Europe have outdated, polluting and wasteful energy systems. Change to this situation has been slow in coming. But are there signs of hope? This scorecard report seeks to answer this question by giving a glimpse into changes in the energy sector between 2010 and now.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania all plan new lignite power plants during the next few years. In contrast, most EU countries are giving up building new coal plants and seven EU states are already coal-free. Since the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank have virtually halted lending for new coal power plants, most of them are due to be financed by Chinese state banks – ExIm Bank and the China Development Bank.
This sociological survey included 162 (or 65.9%) of the registered 246 households in Drmno, Serbia. It illustrates the bleak reality in the village where a large majority of households have health problems, cracks in houses and other negative impacts from the nearby lignite power plant and mine.
All the Western Balkans countries have committed to increase their share of renewable energy by 2020 to reach between 25 and 40 percent of their energy mix, as part of their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. Yet this is far from obvious when examining their investment plans for new power generation capacity. Governments are actively planning to build 2800 MW of new coal plants with construction cost of at least EUR 4.5 billion. In contrast, these countries are only planning to build around 1166 MW of wind power plants, at an estimated cost of EUR 1.89 billion.
This brief analysis provides a basic overview of how Chapter II and related annexes (esp Annex I) of the EU Directive 2010/75/EU (Industrial Emissions Directive, hereinafter also IED) could be included as part of the legally binding framework of the Energy Community.
As part of its new EUR 200 million loan to the Serbian electricity company EPS, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development aims to assist with “identifying opportunities to improve environmental, safety, social, and labour governance and capacity, and on helping EPS to develop a more strategic approach to managing these issues”. As outlined in this briefing, so far the EBRD's fifteen-year partnership with EPS has not brought visible improvements in company practices and it is high time for the bank to prove that its engagement can add value.