Coal plays an important role in the energy system of many EU Member States, and coal mining and power generation provide many jobs. However, the end of an era has arrived. Coal phase-out is the single most important measure to keep the door open to meet the Paris agreement. And EU regulations’ more and more stringent environmental performance requirements are slowly but surely driving coal out of the energy mix.

The territories that are home to coal mines and power plants are expecting structural changes in the near future and many are currently developing transition strategies. In this context, the Bulgarian coal district of Stara Zagora has requested a peer review with a double objective:

  • to get inspiration for promising measures to diversify its economy so that new jobs can be created in sectors likely to be future-proof;
  • to understand what technological options are at hand to upgrade or convert the existing coal infrastructure to make it compliant with new regulatory targets so as to secure the value of at least a part of the existing assets.

Four peers from the Czech Republic, Denmark and Greece have accepted the invitation to support the District Administration and the Regional Development Agency of Stara Zagora in its policy challenges during a peer review organised by the Policy Learning Platform low-carbon economy expert team on 26-27 February 2020.

Image credit: The Role of Coal for Power Generation in Europe 2017 from Eurocoal

Cover image credit: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels