Croatia hints at cleaner energy direction, backs off coal

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Croatia is unlikely to go ahead with plans involving Japan’s Marubeni to build a new coal-fired power plant as the newly formed coalition government prepares to revamp the Balkan nation’s energy strategy.

“We need a new energy strategy in line with the European Union plans on boosting renewable energy and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Such plants don’t fit in,” environment minister Slaven Dobrovic said at an energy round-table in Zagreb, Reuters reported.

“I don’t know if there are some obligations towards Marubeni, but even if there were, it cannot be compared to the potential damage, economic and environmental, from such a plant,” he added.

The previous government opened talks with Marubeni last year to build the 500MW unit at the Plomin plant, a project estimated to cost €800 million.

But last month’s national elections brought in pro-renewables political party Most as a junior coalition partner to centre-right HDZ.

Reuters reported that Economy Minister and Most member Tomislav Panenic said last Friday that the construction of thermal plants and drilling for oil in the Adriatic would be temporarily suspended until a new national energy strategy has been devised.

The new strategy may signal a change for Croatia in how it will view EU-led reforms, including ongoing work on the ETS Phase 4 revision.

Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and last year it voted against starting the MSR in 2019, two years earlier than initially proposed, along with Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.


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