Endesa must request closure of Es Murterar following the Balearic Govern’s announcement.

The Government of the Balearic Islands has announced that groups I & II of the Es Murterar coal-fired power plant will close in 2020. The Ministry of Ecological Transition, with whom they met this week, has consider the approach presented by the Balearic government in the framework of its energy transition process, which establishes as a priority a coal phase-out.

But the question now is: when will Endesa apply for the closure of the coal power plant? The closure of groups I & II is planned for 2020, so the company must do the request as soon as possible. On the other hand, the Govern has confirmed that it is also planned to draw up a closure calendar for groups III & IV, but cannot confirm the timetible. The viability of these groups is highly questionable in the medium term without adaptation works; it is essential that the timetable establishes reasonable closure dates in line with the requirements of an energy transition to a system based on renewable energy to tackle climate change.

The coal phase out is the first step towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. It is important to remember that the Government itself joined the international PPCA (Powering Past Coal Alliance) during the California Climate Summit (GCAS) in September. Therefore, its commitment to accelerate the abandonment of fossil fuels is steady and it should be a priority to implement the necessary measures as soon as possible.

In fact, the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law Project approved in August of this year establishes a closing date for groups III & IV of the Es Murterar plant: 1 January 2025 (Additional Provision Four 2.a of the Law). In addition, it sets ambitious targets for the fight against climate change and envisages reaching a scenario with 100% renewable energy in 2050, with a previous target of 35% by 2030. In order to achieve these goals, it is urgent to speed up the closure of the Alcudia coal power plant.

It is also essential to remember that no aid can be given to companies to adapt to the emission limits of the IED (Industrial Emissions Directive). We cannot continue to subsidize the fossil fuel industry to artificially extend its life. The impacts on health and the environment are very serious: in Spain emissions from coal are responsible for more than 700 premature deaths each year and cardiovascular and respiratory health problems, according to a study by IIDMA presented in 2017.

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