Close mines and save hundreds of millions of euros, recommends EC
By closing the Nováky coal power plant in 2023, Slovakia would save €338m on system costs, according to a European Commission study. Further market and non-market benefits would come to €170m already in the first year after their closure. The benefits will be financial (an end to heavy subsidies), as well as environmental (coal pollution leads to early deaths). The power plant burns low-quality coal mined in nearby Hornonitrianske bane, and is getting €95m in annual subsidies. The government plans to keep subsidizing it until the end of 2030. The EC sees geothermal energy as the best alternative in replacing coal, and it has identified 27 potential areas for geothermal wells in Slovakia. The EC sees no problem in finding work for the 3,000 miners, as the Prievidza region only has 4-6% unemployment.