Spanish organizations in Europe Beyond Coal request Endesa shutdown timetable for the closure of its coal-fired power plants

Spanish organizations belonging to the platform Europe Beyond Coal have requested Endesa to publish a calendar for the closure of their coal-fired power plants. The organizations question the ambiguity of the company’s climate policy and criticize the lack of transparency about its plans to close the coal power plants in Spain in view of the change of government and the creation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition. They call for greater transparency from the company regarding its plans and remind that the closure of the plants must be accompanied by a just transition plan for the regions affected by these closures. Minister Teresa Ribera has already publicly stated that she believes that “coal has little future” and her intention to promote an energy transition where renewable energies are predominant  in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and of the EU.

Endesa has recently presented the document “Best Practices for CO2 Management” and its CEO, José Bogas, has declared the “need and possibility of achieving a smooth transition to full decarbonization by 2050”. However, without clear closure dates for all its fossil fuel assets, in particular its coal-fired power plants, these milestones cannot be achieved.  A coal phase-out is imperative under the Paris Agreement. If existing coal-fired power plants are not shut-down by 2030, their emissions will still be 150% higher than they would to meet the “well below 1.5°C” target.  All plants must shut down by 2025 at the latest, even though investments have been made to comply with the emission limit values of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) to extend their life a few more years.

Endesa is the company that emits the most tons of equivalent CO2 in Spain. It owns 5 of the 15 coal plants still operating in the country, which have a serious impact on the health of the population: the 5 plants owned by Endesa were associated with approximately 1,316 premature deaths in 2015, according to data from Europe Beyond Coal.

The signatory organizations are asking Endesa to publish a clear schedule for an orderly and progressive closure of its coal-fired plants and to stop any new investments in them. These investments not only pose a risk to investors, but also have a major impact on health and the environment.

Closure requests.

Compostilla (Castilla y León) and Teruel (Aragón) coal plants emit large quantities of SO2, NOx and dust, polluting substances that cause serious impacts on health and the environment. Both installations are on the Europe Beyond Coal “Toxic 30” list, which includes the 30 plants responsiblefor the highest number of premature deaths in Europe. Enel, the owner of Endesa, announced in 2017 that it would close these plants by 2020. The two plants are currently under the Transitional National Plan (TNP) in force until 30 June 2020, when they will have to adapt to the stricter emission values of the IED, or close. Therefore, the organizations consider that Endesa should request their closure to the Administratio as soon as possible in order to be able to carry out an orderly and progressive closure and facilitate a just transition.

For the Es Murterar plant in Alcudia, Balearic Islands, the organizations request the closure of Groups I and II by 2020. This closure, which would not affect the islands’ security of supply, was supported in 2017 by the Balearic Government as part of its regional Climate Change and Energy Transition Law and blocked by the previous Spanish government. With the new Ministry for Ecological Transition, favorable to the transition to clean energy, the closure of Groups I & II should be guaranteed by 1 January 2020. On the other hand, the group’s request the closure of Groups III and IV by 2025 at the latest.

For the coal plants in As Pontes (Galicia) and Litoral (Andalucia), works have been carried out to adapt to the emission limit values of the IED, which will extend allow them to extend their lives for a few more years. However, in view of the need to phase out coal in Europe in order to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Endesa should clearly opt for their closure by 2025. The closure plan for these plants, as in all other cases, should be agreed upon as soon as possible.

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