November 16, 2018 / 10:55 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Endesa to close two Spanish coal plants in 2020

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MADRID, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Spanish utility Endesa plans to close two of its coal plants in Spain, representing around two-fifths of its coal-fired generating capacity in the country, the company said on Friday.

As companies globally move towards a lower carbon economy, Endesa’s Italian parent company Enel, is phasing out coal-fired power plants and focusing on electricity grids, renewable energy and its retail business.

“We will present the application shortly because we do not plan to carry out the necessary investments to comply with European regulations,” an Endesa spokesman said.

The European Union set new standards on resources and emissions for combustion plants last year, requiring expensive technological upgrades.

Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez signalled his intention to go green when he took power in June, bringing together energy and environment into one ministry, which is now working on a new law on climate change.

A working draft for the new law includes plans to raise the share of renewable sources in the energy mix to 35 percent by 2030.

The plants in Teruel in the country’s north-east, which has a capacity of 1,101 megawatts (MW), and Compostilla in the north-west, with a 1,051 MW capacity, are due to close in 2020.

With the climate change law, the government aims to help re-train people in sectors that will be affected by the shift away from carbon, and introduce social security measures.

Endesa’s coal capacity is currently much larger than peers Iberdrola and Naturgy, who respectively run 874 MW and 2,010 MW in Spain. (Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by David Evans and Louise Heavens)

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