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Page added on February 27, 2009

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Europe mulls running ageing coal plants until 2020

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Dozens of aging European coal-fired power stations could win life extensions to 2020 if they agree to scale back their operating hours, according to a proposal to be tabled by the European Union’s Czech presidency.

The proposal has been made in an overhaul of EU acid rain laws, seen by Reuters on Friday, and it is aimed at ending opposition from countries with coal-powered economies that fear future energy shortages.

But it is likely to anger environmentalists who urge that coal be swiftly phased out as the biggest contributor to global warming. The final laws will be hotly contested and are unlikely to be agreed for many months.

Current EU emissions laws force European power stations to fit costly equipment to remove sulfur and nitrogen oxides blamed for acid rain, but older plants can opt out provided that they close after 20,000 hours of running time or by 2015.

Reuters



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