Šoštanj, Slovenia’s last coal-fired power station, will likely be operable only during power shortages or high market prices until it is removed from the grid by 2033 according to the country’s coal plan to phase out coal by then.
Šoštanj accounts for about one third of Slovenia’s total domestic energy production, but it has been suffering from poor production at the nearby Velenje coal mine, its principal coal source, high emission coupon prices, and frequent maintenance shutdowns.
Tokelj said that if the electricity generated by the thermal plant was expensive, we should consider how many hours of operation are reasonable and economically viable.
The electricity it generates cannot be cheap if we burn expensive coal and buy expensive emission coupons in the near future.
The executive believes plans for a modern multi-fuel boiler that can burn biomass and other alternative fuels should be set in motion as soon as possible. Since Šoštanj is the source of district heating for several thousand households, this would make it possible to provide affordable heat and generate electricity at affordable prices.
In Slovenia, coal will be phased out in 2033, a date tokelj understands as an “approximate target”. “Whether it will happen sooner or later depends on market conditions and operational demands,” he said.