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Greek government approves return to lignite for power production

Greek government approves return to lignite for power production

The government has agreed to double the production of electricity using lignite coal as part of a four-point plan to ensure an adequate supply of energy at affordable prices, the official Athens-Macedonian News Agency said on Friday.

The plan was agreed at an emergency meeting on the energy crisis on Thursday. At the meeting on Thursday, Public Power Corporation (PPC) CEO Georgios Stassis said power production using coal will increase to 10 TWh.

Effectively, coal-powered electricity production will replace that using more expensive and possibly entirely unavailable natural gas, with the cost estimated to be roughly half that of natural gas at current prices.

A major hurdle will be increasing production from coal mines in such a short space of time. The country’s lignite coal mines had been fast-tracked for closure for environmental reasons. In 2019, the government’s ambitious National Energy and Climate Plan aimed to phase coal out of the electricity mix by 2028 at the latest.