Environment group Zero said in a statement the Pego plant in Central Portugal had been off the land second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, adding that “liberating ourselves from the greatest resource” of greenhouse was a memorable day for Portugal”.
The move comes nine years before Portugal’s intended end of the use of the fossil fuel in 2030.
Belgium, Austria and Sweden are the other three Europeans countries to have already stopped using coal for power generation.
Although a hefty 60%-70% of its electricity comes from renewable sources, Portugal still leans heavily on imported fossil fuels to meet general energy needs.
There are concerns over the Pego factory, run by the private group Tejo Energia, can now be converted to burn wood pellets.
“The challenge now must ensure utilities don’t make the mistake of replace coal with fossil gas of unsustainable biomass,” says Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director at Europe Beyond Coal.
“Just throw out coals to” switch to the next worst fuel is clearly not an answer,” said Zero’s president Francisco Ferreira. “Instead, the focus is should to be on scaling up our renewable energy capacity quickly in wind and sun.”
A draft document seen by Reuters in June showed that the EU is considering tightening rules on of wood-fired energy can be classified as renewable.
Read More: World News
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