Slovakia plans to be coal-free by 2024, 6 years earlier than originally planned

Slovakia plans to be coal-free by 2024, 6 years earlier than originally planned

Slovakia stopped production at its last coal-fired power plant this week. Its electricity will now come almost entirely from nuclear and renewable sources.

The Vojany power station, located in the Michalovce district in eastern Slovakia, opened in 1966.

Slovenské elektrárne, the company that owns the plant, announced that all of the electricity generated in the Eastern European country will be free of direct CO2 as of June 2024.

Slovakia originally slated its coal phaseout for 2030 but has now expedited this to mid-2024, when it will join Belgium, Austria, Sweden and Portugal as a coal-free country.

Slovakia will be coal-free by mid-2024

The Vojany coal plant has two remaining units of 110 MW each and will not produce any more as of this week. By the end of June, it will close down operations completely.

Operator Slovenské elektrárne has been trialling waste and biomass incinerators but concluded that this alternative fuel supply is unreliable and insufficient.

The lack of alternative fuel was also the motive behind the closure of the Nováky coal plant at the end of last year.

Vojany, which at the time of its construction was the largest power plant in former Czechoslovakia, has been struggling economically for several years.

The owners say this was due to the long-term fall in electricity prices and the high cost of C02 permits and coal.

According to Slovak daily newspaper Dennikn, the station had produced almost no electricity in recent years.

What will happen to closed coal plants?

Vojany owner Slovenské elektrárne intends to transform the closed power plant for more sustainable solutions.

The utility firm says it will clean up the onsite landfill and the sludge pond so they do not pose a risk to the environment.

The company hopes to adapt the station for green uses such as a solar park or battery storage.