Since March 14, no coal has been burned in Portugal to produce electricity. The whole country has been coal-free for the first time in more than 35 years.
For the last 3 months, EDP’s thermoelectric plant in Sines has not burned coal to produce electricity. However, an official from EDP guaranteed that are not closing the Sines facility.
Asked whether the 100-day shutdown means that the Sines power station may close this year, EDP continues to guarantee it hasn’t yet taken “any closure decision”, arguing they are currently monitoring “the evolution of the market to assess the prospects for positive cash flow generation” at their coal-fired power stations.
Up to date statistics from EDP show that between January and March the electricity production from coal fell by 77% in the Iberian Peninsula. Last year, by the same time, it had already fallen by 50%.
“In the first quarter of 2020, market conditions in the Iberian Peninsula led to combined cycle power plants remaining more competitive than coal plants (low natural gas prices and high CO2 prices in the European market), so coal plants did not operate in the daily market.
Back in March, it was Endesa the one switching off its coal plant. Portugal has been now coal-free for the last 52 days. This is the first time happening in the last 35 years.
These two months without burning coal led to an unprecedented reduction of 58% of greenhouse gas emissions in Portugal.