Hornonitrianske Bane mines may end

Despite environmental studies at the EU level, the Slovak state wants to continue subsidising brown coal mining.

Hornonitrianske Bane companyHornonitrianske Bane company (Source: Sme)

It is possible that the Hornonitrianske Bane mines, to which PM Robert Fico has secured business for several years in advance, will lose its only customer as the power plant in Nováky has to stop producing electricity from coal.

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This stems from the results of the February analysis of the non-governmental organisation Climate Analytics which suggests that the European Union will not meet its commitments arising from the Paris climate deal if it does not close all 315 coal power plants on its territory, the Sme daily reported.

It needs to do so by 2030.

Read also: Slovenské Elektrárne threatens to close coal-fired power plant Nováky Read more 

“The cheapest way to fulfill the Paris agreement is to stop using coal and replace it with renewable energy resources,” said one of the authors of the analysis, Paola Parra, as quoted by Sme.

Slovakia, however, has the operation of brown coal mines among its priorities. Back in 2015, then economy minister Vazil Hudák (Smer nominee) signed an order claiming that subsidising the mines is in the general economic interest of the country. By doing so, he secured business for Hornonitrianske Bane for at least the next 13 years, Sme wrote.

This year, the company will receive €95.4 million.

Read also: State secures subsidies for mines Read more 

Though the subsidies are approved by the state, the money is collected from people who use electricity. It is part of the so-called tariff for operating the system, which comprises one-fifth of the total electricity price. Besides miners, producers of electricity from renewable resources also receive the subsidy.

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Despite the duty to reduce the production of electricity from coal, support for brown coal mining and electricity production from it should not end, the Economy Ministry wrote to Sme.

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