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Economy

Greece Will End Coal Use by 2028 in 5 Billion Euro Offset Scheme

September 10, 2020

ATHENS – Still reliant in coal in the 21st Century for power, Greece will spend 5 billion euros ($5.92 billion) to stop using it by 2028 and cut carbon emissions to meet European Union climate targets by 2050.

Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told reporters the total will include state money, funds from the European Union and loans from the European Investment Bank for inrastructure projects, subsidies to new businesses, and training, to help Western Macedonia and Megalopoli in Southern Peloponnese switch to green energy, agriculture and tourism, the news agency Reuters reported.

They are the prime suppliers of the cheap and abundant lignite resources Greece has relied on for power generation for more than half a century but which are harmful to the environment.

The New Democracy government said the use of coal would be cut 80 percent by 2023 to reduce the carbon footprint but it wasn't said what would take the place or if sustainable sources would be used.

Hatzidakis also said private investments in renewables and other activities are in the pipeline and are expected to help create more than 8,000 jobs in western Macedonia and Megalopoli.

“The number of jobs that will be created in Western Macedonia and Megalopoli will be more than those that will be lost,” Hatzidakis said, adding that Greece will also consider tax incentives to new businesses to support local communities.

Investments include a plan by the state's Public Power Corporation (PPC) to build solar parks in Western Macedonia with generating capacity of 2.3 gigawatts, and a 130-million euro ($153.9 million) solar power project by Hellenic Petroleum in the same region, the report added.

Another plant it is building in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, will operate using coal until 2028, and switch to a different fuel without specifying what it would be.

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