BUCHAREST (Romania), June 30 (SeeNews) - Romania' s government decided to gradually close down coal-fired power plants as well as coal mines by 2032 in a move to decarbonise the country's energy sector, the energy ministry said on Thursday.
An emergency decree adopted by the government establishes the general legal framework for the gradual closure and conservation of power production units and coal mines, the ministry said in a press release.
"We propose the closure and conservation of these electricity production units because we notice in this energy crisis that it is not known when you will need to be able to produce electricity from coal again," energy minister Virgil Popescu said during a press conference following the weekly government meeting.
In order to offset the capacity deficit created by the elimination of coal from the energy mix, investments need to be made for the commissioning by 2030 of new hydroelectric and nuclear power generation capacities, according to the decree.
The decree also establishes a series of social protection measures for people affected by the changes.
The decarbonisation of the energy sector is part of Romania's Recovery and Resilience Plan, under which the country is set to receive 14.2 billion euro ($14.8 billion) in grants and 14.9 billion euro in loans from the EU.