Environmental group Zero mentioned in an announcement the Pego plant in central Portugal had been the nation’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, including that “liberating ourselves from the most important supply of greenhouse gases was a momentous day for Portugal”.

The transfer comes 9 years earlier than Portugal’s focused finish of using the fossil gasoline by 2030.

Belgium, Austria and Sweden are the opposite three European nations to have already stopped utilizing coal for energy era.

Though a hefty 60%-70% of its electrical energy comes from renewable sources, Portugal nonetheless depends closely on imported fossil fuels to fulfill general power wants.

There are considerations the Pego plant, run by the privately held group Tejo Energia, would possibly now be transformed to burn wooden pellets.

“The problem now’s to make sure utilities don’t make the error of changing coal with fossil gasoline, or unsustainable biomass,” mentioned Kathrin Gutmann, marketing campaign director at Europe Past Coal.

“Ditching coal solely to change to the subsequent worst gasoline is clearly not a solution,” mentioned Zero’s president Francisco Ferreira. “As a substitute, the main target must be on quickly upscaling our renewable power capability in wind and photo voltaic.”

A draft doc seen by Reuters in June confirmed the EU was contemplating tightening guidelines on whether or not wood-burning power could possibly be categorized as renewable.

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