07 May 2010

ČEZ profiles itself as ‘green pioneer’ in Eastern EU

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The Czech Republic's biggest power company, ČEZ, has taken a leading role in "greening" the energy sector in Central and Eastern Europe

Roman sought to disprove claims by environmentalists who have attacked the company's plans to renovate a coal power plant in Prunéřov, which ranks as the 18th biggest emitter of CO2 emissions in the EU.

Green groups argue that planned energy efficiency improvements at the plant are insufficient, but Roman said the plans are "good" and under way.

The Czech Environment Ministry did the right thing by approving an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on 29 April, he added.

"In 57 out of 59 points the solution offered by ČEZ corresponds to the best available technology. The two remaining are justified by local conditions," Roman stressed.

The Czech Environment Ministry was under pressure to decide whether the solution planned by ČEZ is appropriate or whether it needs to be revised before it can be approved with adjustments. Green groups demanded a complete phase-out of Prunéřov, arguing that the plant could be replaced by renewables and greater energy efficiency.

A second coal power plant at Prunéřov began operating in 1982, causing environmental damage in northwest Bohemia. Some 58% of the country's electricity is still produced in coal plants, but the Czech Energy Agency estimates this will drop to 28% by 2030.

(EurActiv.com)

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