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EC funds Mátra lignite generation decarbonization project

Pollution

The European Commission has announced funding for the gradual phase-out of lignite generation at the Mátra power plant in Hungary as part of its LIFE Environment and Climate Action program, S&P Global Platts reports.

The project is one of several announced Wednesday, to be backed by total investment of EUR 121 million (USD 145.59 million) for new integrated projects under the program.

"Gradual phasing-out of lignite (brown coal) plays a key role in Hungary's National Energy and Climate Plan," the Commission said as quoted by S&P Global Platts.

Mátra is Hungary's last remaining lignite-fired power plant but accounts for nearly 50% of the country's energy sector CO2 emissions. The goal of the project is to decarbonize the plant by 2030, via a mix of renewable energy, energy storage and natural gas technologies, and close two associated open-cast lignite mines by the same date. The phase-out would reduce Hungary's greenhouse gas emissions by 14%, or around 6.5 million metric tons of CO 2 per year, it said.

Hungary's National Energy and Climate Plan, adopted by the government on Jan. 8, 2020, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and increase the share of renewables to 20% in the generation mix. Other projects selected for support under the LIFE program included implementation in the Malopolska region in Poland of a regional action plan for climate and energy, and restoration in Ireland of around 10,000 hectares of peatlands with high carbon storage potential.

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