Serbia has decided to stop the construction of the Kolubara B thermal power plant, which could be seen as the first serious step in the energy transition and the decarbonization of the energy sector. The Ministry of Mining and Energy said the energy transition does not mean a sudden closure of coal-fired power plants, but development, investments and new jobs.
The Ministry of Mining and Energy told state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) in a letter to suspend all activities on the construction of the 350 MW Kolubara B thermal power plant. The Kolubara mining basin trade union then today organized a protest at the facility’s construction site near Kalenić.
In recent years, Serbia has commissioned wind farms with a capacity of 500 MW in total, but it still produces two thirds of its electricity in coal-fired power plants with an overall capacity of 4 GW. In addition, EPS is already building the Kostolac B3 thermal power plant, with a capacity of 350 MW, and it has also planned Kolubara B. With the adoption of the first law on renewables, the Ministry of Mining and Energy, led by Minister Zorana Mihajlović, ended the deadlock in the energy transition process and created conditions for increasing green energy production, but the real challenge is reducing production in coal-fired power plants.
In March last year EPS signed a contract with the Power Construction Corp. of China for the construction of the Kolubara B thermal power plant, which started in the late 1980s but was soon stopped. The preparations prompted a public uproar, so in September, after an hour of heated debate, the public hearing on the draft spatial plan and strategic environmental impact assessment of the construction of the Kolubara B was halted.