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Greece set to win €1.75bn from EU climate scheme to build two coal plants

December 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Henning Nielsen


You could not make it up!

From the Guardian:



Greece appears on track to win access to a controversial EU programme that could earmark up to €1.75bn (£1.56bn) in free carbon allowances for the building of two massive coal-fired power plants.

The 1100MW coal stations will cost an estimated €2.4bn, and emit around 7m tonnes of CO2 a year, casting doubt on their viability without a cash injection from an exemption under Europe’s carbon trading market.

The European parliament’s industry committee last month approved a rule change allowing Greece to join the scheme, the ‘10c derogation’ of the emissions trading system (ETS). Now, positive votes in the environment committee next month and at a plenary in February could set wheels in motion for the coal plants.

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch Liberal MEP on the environment committee, said: “Lignite [coal] has no future and should not be stimulated in any way. Greece’s intention of using public funds to revive its lignite-based model should not be allowed. Article 10C is there to help poor countries towards a sustainable energy future. Lignite does not fit these criteria.”

“You couldn’t make this up,” added Imke Lübbeke, WWF Europe’s head climate and energy policy. “The ETS was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but it now risks being abused to facilitate investments in the new coal plants, which would operate well within the 2060s.

“This would violate climate targets and is in no way compatible with the leadership role the EU aspires to play in global climate policy and carbon markets.”

Greece depends on 16 ageing lignite coal units for around half of its electricity production and its energy establishment sees two new lignite plants in western Macedonia as a cost-effective way of modernising and securing energy supplies.

Emmanuel Panagiotakis, the president of the Greek public power corporation (GPPC), told MEPs last year that without access to free emissions allowances, Greek lignite production would be discredited, causing electricity costs to skyrocket and jeapordising energy security.

One of the two new plants, Ptolemaida V, is already under construction, with its €1.4bn price tag underwritten by a €739m loan from a consortium led by the German export bank, KfW-Ipex. As well as CO2, the plant would annually emit significant air pollution: 2,100 tonnes of sulphur dioxide (SO2), 2,800 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 140 tonnes of particulates, studies say.

A memorandum of understanding for the other plant, Meliti II, was signed in September between the Greek government and CMEC, a Chinese construction company.

Greece has the lowest quality lignite in Europe and plants such as these would not be viable without access to free carbon allowances, according to Panagiotakis.


It’s a rum old world when you tax something to put it out of business, then say new ones can’t be built because they are not viable!

Note that China is involved in building the second plant, something they are doing across the world.

On normal loading, the two plants can be expected to produce 15 TWh annually, about half the amount generated by coal last year in the UK.

  1. December 17, 2017 5:29 pm

    Smog! Warm water vapour rising above cold water vapour.

    These are new coal plants replacing old ones, so the local air pollution, if there was any, will be reduced, and Greece has probably reduced its “footprint” more than any other EU country, thanks to its recession.

    • Mr Sausage permalink
      December 17, 2017 10:11 pm

      Smog – Combination of smoke & fog. Some of us are old enough to have experienced it

  2. December 17, 2017 5:44 pm

    Why not ask for $80Bn, build a couple coke ovens, build a couple railroads, convert all the lignite plants to coke…problem solved!!!

    • December 17, 2017 10:16 pm

      If Greece has only Lignite, that is your answer surely? I live in Australia on the second biggest Lignite deposit on the world. Our government has given some of the world’s highest electricity prices, great if you are an overpaid politician or public servant but not your average punter like me.

  3. Joe Public permalink
    December 17, 2017 5:47 pm

    Gotta love the later Graun headline:

    “The end of coal: EU energy companies pledge no new plants from 2020”

    Only masochists & those with nowt better to do actually read the article, which admits

    “In the end though, only Poland which depends on coal for around 90% of its electricity and Greece, (which) still plans new coal plants,….”

    So ‘the end of coal’ actually isn’t.

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    December 17, 2017 6:16 pm

    Also, China are building new coal fired power plant in Bosnia.
    Wonder how the battle between the USA and Germany will develop to supply the “dirty coal” to these plants!
    May all be decided by the Chinese: that will put the cat among the pigeons for the USA who have not yet really noticed China catching up!

  5. Mr Sausage permalink
    December 17, 2017 6:32 pm

    Looks like the 2nd power plant has been put on the “back burner” so to speak.

  6. markl permalink
    December 17, 2017 6:38 pm

    It’s not about temperature but about control. Greece is not likely to become a Capitalistic economic power house with these coal plants so it’s OK. It’s OK in China as well because they are on track to become the Socialist poster country for the world …. that is once they get their footing from Capitalism. The US reduces CO2 more than any country yet it’s the bad boy of the world. Go figure, then think about it. Conspiracy theory or fact?

  7. December 18, 2017 1:19 am

    Will they have the coal delivered in electric boats?

    -asking for a Chinese friend

  8. December 18, 2017 9:02 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    December 18, 2017 12:06 pm

    Um, I am a bit thick, well a lot thick really because I love coal fired stations, making steam and turning turbines generating luverly electricity – no, honestly I really do!

    What is really foxing a thickie like me is, according to the great and the good in Berlin and Brussels and across the great green world but particularly here in the Empire of Utopia, it’s not OK for Britain to build new fired coal plant but…………’s OK in Germany and Greece!

    Collectively in the UK – are we all just big dunces and maybe……….. it’s not just me?

    Please, I beg, someone, help me out here!

    • AndyG55 permalink
      December 19, 2017 4:43 am

      New coal fired power is not allowed in Australia either…
      … even though we have some of the world’s best quality and largest thermal coal deposits.

      Its not just silly, its MORONIC and its a TOTAL DISGRACE on our politicians.

      • Athelstan permalink
        December 19, 2017 7:23 pm

        Australia has the great green bug and it’s loonytoon’s politicians are even more moronic than maybe – here in the UK………..maybe – it’s a toss up though admittedly, your fast bowlers and batsmen – are infinitely superior!!;-))

        What’s even more moronic, Aus exports jobs to China, iron ore + coal and in return imports – Steel!

        Frooking lunacy and on stilts!

    • catweazle666 permalink
      December 19, 2017 8:30 pm

      “I love coal fired stations, making steam and turning turbines generating luverly electricity”

      I’m a big fan of Lancashire boilers and big steam engines myself, and lineshafts driving belts coupled to machines with fast-and-loose pulley setups…

      Ah, the smell!

      • Athelstan permalink
        December 20, 2017 8:55 am

        Steam nuts – together then.

        Fred Dibnah, “you dirty old man” – oops wrong programme, Fred back in his days, he really rather liked steam too.

  10. December 18, 2017 12:10 pm

    I would say that is a prime picture of a temperature inversion in action. Cities and town are usually located along rivers and particularly at river confluences. Those are in the valleys which they have eroded. Ergo, you are in an area of temperature inversions where things are kept close to the ground under certain circumstances.

    I live in an area which is prone to fog–this morning for example. Sometimes it hangs in the valleys, such as is seen in the picture, but other times in is at the tops of the mountains. Keysers Ridge on I-48 in Maryland, east of me is legendary for heavy fogs. I have driven through some of them when I lived in the Washington, DC area. Not fun.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 18, 2017 1:44 pm

    I just broke up when I read that that power station was located near Magalopoli. Sounds like a board game waiting to be developed…

  12. songhees permalink
    December 19, 2017 2:22 am

    A different perspective.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.

    My website is
    “Human Caused Global Warming”, ‘The Biggest Deception in History’.

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