Controversial power plant upgrade

In late April, the Czech government gave the country’s main utility CEZ the go-ahead for a disputed upgrade of the Prunerov power plant. The decision came after months of political wrangling within the government on whether or not to allow an upgrade one of the largest lignite-fired power plants in the country – with annual emissions of over 9 million tons, it is the country’s biggest source of CO2 emissions. The project is expected to extend the plant’s lifetime by 20-25 years.

The decision was strongly criticised by environmentalists, including Greenpeace, who stated that the Czech ministry had taken a “shamefully manipulated political decision”. Environmental groups expressed their disappointment that the government also disregarded concerns expressed by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The tiny Pacific island state has contested the upgrade plans on the grounds that CEZ disregarded the power plants’ potential impact on the climate and its contribution to sea level rise and extreme weather events.

Source: ENDS Europe Daily, 30 April 2010

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