Slovenia pledges to stop burning coal for electricity by 2033

Šoštanj power plant, Slovenia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Slovenia plans to quit burning coal in power stations by 2033, becoming the latest country to pledge to exit the dirtiest fossil fuel.

The government said it will stop using coal for electricity by that year as part of a “fair transition” of its coal regions, according to documents released on Thursday. The plan comes after the Czech Republic last week said it will look to phase out coal by 2033, though that country stopped short of committing to a firm target.

“With a pitiful 2% of Slovenia’s electricity currently produced from solar and wind, the government urgently needs to exploit the country’s immense renewable energy potential,” said Zala Primc, a campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal, which aims for countries to phase out the use of coal by 2030.

Slovenia generated 4,363 gigawatt hours of electricity from coal in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, behind hydropower and nuclear. Its largest coal mine, brought online in 2015, racked up 438 million euros ($500 million) in debt, according to a summer 2021 financial report.

(By Todd Gillespie, with assistance from Jasmina Kuzmanovic)

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