All posts tagged: Coal


Romania part 2 | The Global Energy Transition Podcast – Episode 4

After committing to phase out coal by 2032, Romania has begun a sweeping energy transition. But it is off to a very rocky start. Though a key condition of their nearly €30 billion Recovery and Resilience Plan approved by the European Commission calls for the nation’s coal mines and coal burning power plants to shutter, what will replace them remains a cause of concern. During COP26 in Glasgow, Romania’s provisional government surprisingly inked a deal with the U.S. to construct a fleet of experimental nuclear units while partnering with a Norwegian company to convert an old coal plant to burn biomass instead – despite Romania already having a large problem with illegal timbering. But more than an economic issue, Romania’s energy transition requires a cultural shift as well as an influx of worker re-training programs. And now as energy costs rise, Bucharest is blaming several NGOs for higher prices.

In this episode, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum takes a deeper look in Part Two of his Romanian Power Move series. Listen for interviews with campaigners from Beyond Coal Europe, researchers from NGO 2Celsius, and Bankwatch Romania’s National Director, Ioana Ciută who recounts her experience testifying before Parliament. Miner’s Hymn by Jurjak from the Planeta Petrila Original Soundtrack used by permission. The full video can be found here.

You can also read more from host Michael Buchsbaum about Romania’s energy transition in the ongoing Romanian Power Move series on the Global Energy Transition blog here, visit his website here or follow Buchsbaum on Twitter: @LMicalBuchsbaum.

You can play the episode below, and it’s also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Shownotes:

Report “Coal in Romania – A review of coal-based assets and how they affect the environment” by Bankwatch Romania

Europe Beyond Coal “Romania commits to exiting coal by 2032 at the latest

Energy Policy Group & Greenpeace România report “The sustainable transition of Gorj County

2Celsius – Romanian environmental NGO

Audio from the podcast was mixed and edited by audio expert Christian Kreymborg.

 

Romanian Power Move: Building Uncle Sam’s Nukes

During COP26 in Glasgow, Romania’s caretaker government announced a surprise new partnership with the United States to develop a fleet of so-far unlicensed Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) to help replace it’s aging coal-fired infrastructure. The announcement builds upon the €8 billion deal the two nations signed over the summer of 2021 to refurbish one reactor at Romania’s only nuclear plant, while constructing two more on site. Michael Buchsbaum reviews Bucharest’s nuclear ambitions in this installment of the ongoing Romanian Power Move series.

Read More

Sustained appetite for coal hampers Zimbabwe’s renewable energy prospects

One of the issues hindering Zimbabwe’s urgent development trajectory is its insistent energy shortages. This has seen the government place power production at the top of priorities to achieve an “Empowered and Prosperous Upper Middle-Income Society” between 2021 and 2030. While it is unavoidable that the country will have to increase access to modern as well as sustainable energy to fulfill development plans. The current borrowing to expand and construct coal thermal power stations has sparked debate around the rationality of development using toxic means. In this story, Kennedy Nyavaya writes about how diverting investments to renewable projects will help Zimbabwe utilise its vast clean power potential and take a quick turn towards climate neutrality as well as create green jobs.

Read More

Romania part 1 | The Global Energy Transition Podcast – Episode 3

Now committed to phasing out coal by 2032, Romania is set to embark on a sweeping energy transition. A key condition of their nearly €30 billion Recovery and Resilience Plan approved by the European Commission, the mines and old power plants will be replaced by new solar and hydrogen as well as fossil gas development. But during COP26,  Romania’s provisional government surprisingly inked a deal with the U.S. to construct a fleet of experimental nuclear units their too.
In this episode, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum takes a deeper look in Part One of his Romanian Power Move series. Listen for interviews from Romania’s Energy Ministry State Secretary Dan Drāgan who explains the government’s “decarbonization” vision and the country’s planned shift to fossil gas and solar.
Offering more insights and color commentary, we also hear from Bankwatch Romania’s Just Transition Campaigner, Dan Dobre, just after he returned from the coal fields, and also Bankwatch’s Romanian Energy and Transition Campaign Coordinator, Laura Nazare from the NGOs national office in Bucharest. Click here for more reports from Bankwatch and to go deeper, readers and listeners can click herehere and here. To read one of the transformation strategies for Gorj County, click here.
You can also read more from host Michael Buchsbaum about Romania’s energy transition in the ongoing Romanian Power Move series on the Global Energy Transition blog here, visit his website here or follow Buchsbaum on Twitter @LMicalBuchsbaum.

You can play the episode below, and it’s also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Shownotes:

Report “Coal in Romania – A review of coal-based assets and how they affect the
environment” by Bankwatch Romania

Europe Beyond Coal “Romania commits to exiting coal by 2032 at the latest

Greenpeace CEE Press Hub “The Oltenia Energy Complex calls for more than € 1 billion to restructure and decarbonize, but significantly increases CO2 emissions over the next 10 years

Energy Policy Group & Greenpeace România report “The sustainable transition of Gorj County

2Celsius – Romanian environmental NGO

Balkan Green Energy News “Romania tells EU it would close all coal mines by 2032

Romania Insider “European Commission greenlights Romania’s EUR 29.2 bln recovery and resilience plan

 

Romanian Power Move: Bucharest takes billions in EU decarbonization funds

After years of resistance, this September Romania promised to exit coal by 2032 ahead of receiving a €29 billion chunk of NextGenerationEU redevelopment money, some 40% earmarked for green and sustainable projects. But then Bucharest’s coalition fell and a caretaker government has since announced plans for a fleet of new fossil gas and biomass plants to power the country past coal. And during COP26 they signed a partnership with the United States to construct Europe’s largest new nuclear fleet. In this series, based on field research funded by a Fellowship from the International Journalists’ Program, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum, trains a spotlight on Romania’s controversial energy transition.

Read More

Could a Green New Deal clean up Africa’s dirtiest electricity grid?

Civil society organisations in South Africa are proposing a post-WW2-style economic recovery programme to steer energy transformation for the state utility that echoes Roosevelt’s New Deal in the USA. But the country has been thrown into an even deeper energy crisis, following an explosion at one of the country’s newly-minted power stations. Could this make the ‘Green New Eskom’ idea even more relevant? Leonie Joubert investigates.

Read More

Eastern Greater Poland: An Energy Transition Trailblazer

As the first of the country’s six coal regions to start planning its coal phase-out, Eastern Greater Poland is the undisputed leader in Poland’s just energy transition. For 80 years, the region’s industry has revolved around lignite, but Eastern Greater Poland has ambitions not only to change the status quo with regard to coal, but also to serve as an example for the rest of the nation. Grass-roots projects lie at the heart of their new approach to energy. Agata Skrzypczyk has the story.

Read More

South Africa’s new energy policy is a game-changer for Africa’s biggest carbon polluter

What better way to set a country on a path to a just transition than to allow lower-income families to harvest the free solar energy falling on or around their homes, and sell it to the national grid? After years of regulatory deadlock on the private sale of electricity in South Africa, sudden tectonic policy changes mean community energy co-operatives might be able to join the energy supply sector.

Read More