The war in Ukraine pushes France to rethink the closure of coal-fired power plants – Economy – The war in Ukraine

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Archive photo: Saint-Avold station. PA

The Ministry of Energy Transition has indicated that it plans to reopen the Saint-Avold power plant in eastern France this winter, “given the situation in Ukraine” and its effects on energy markets. .

“We are keeping open the possibility of being able to put the Saint-Avold station back into service for a few more hours if we need it next winter,” said a press release from the ministry, confirming information from RTL radio.

But France would still produce less than 1% of its electricity from coal, and no Russian coal would be used, the statement added.

President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to eventually close all coal-fired power plants in France remained unchanged, the ministry statement said.

Saint-Avold was only closed on March 31, and the only coal-fired power station still in operation in France is in Cordemais, in the west of the country.

Most of France’s electricity production comes from nuclear: 67% in 2020. In the same year, coal accounted for only 0.3%.

Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have all announced recently that they will use more coal for their energy needs due to the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war there has sent global energy prices skyrocketing and raised the prospect of shortages if supplies are cut off.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has already stopped deliveries to a number of European countries, including Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands.

But the return to fossil fuels has alarmed the European Commission and environmental activists.

They point to the risk that the European Union will miss its targets for reducing polluting energy sources, and the potentially disastrous consequences for the climate.

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