Slovenia Phasing out coal by 2033
The Slovenian government has announced that it wants to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2033. This puts the country behind the 16 countries that have already phased out coal-fired power generation or will do so by 2030. Currently, only 2% of the country's energy needs are met by renewable energy, making Slovenia dependent on the volatility of fossil fuel markets.
Therefore, the announcement was criticized and opposed by the non-profit organization Europe Beyond Coal, which campaigns for European countries to phase out fossil fuels. The activists argue that the official plan lacks ambition, especially when compared to the phase-out programs of similar-sized countries in Eastern Europe, such as Greece (2025), Slovakia (2030), and Northern Macedonia (2027).
Slovenia's largest coal-fired power plant is located near the country's only active lignite mine near Velenje in north-central Slovenia. The Šoštanj power plant, unit 6 (600 MW), was commissioned in 2015 - the same year the world agreed to the Paris Climate Agreement - and immediately ran the risk of becoming a stranded asset.
Since then, the power plant has accumulated debts of €438 million and made losses of €280 million last year alone, proving that it was a bad investment. The leaked documents also show that the power plant is on the verge of bankruptcy.