Spanish union desires 2050 extension for domestic coal power plants

15/03/2018 15:50 Coal


One of Spain's biggest industry unions, UGT has strongly recommended the Spanish government to ensure the survival to 2050 of coal burning power plants.

The industrial group wishes the legislation to give a new lease of life beyond a 2019 cut-off for uneconomic coal mines which deal with closure. The Spanish government should present a decree in the coming days that could give it the last word in potential plant shutdowns.

The decision is also motivated by a desire to reduce cost increases in the power market, which can also boost consumer bills. A full coal closure might lead to a 14-27% rise in electricity prices, while such a change would leave pricing susceptible to the volatility of gas prices.

According to coal lobby group Carbunion, only eight mining firms remain in Spain, in comparison with 21 in 2011, with two more closing during the last year, while domestic coal power generation has declined for all but one of last 27 years.

UGT ensures that domestic coal still has a major role to play in the generation mix, being the only important hydrocarbon source readily available in the country.

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