France restarts coal power plant amidst EU´s energy crisis

Photo by Yaroslav Maltsev/

The coal-fired power station in Saint-Avold, eastern France, started operating again after being closed in March  

The major energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine is resulting in the return of several coal power stations across the European Union.

According to a report in Associated Press on Wednesday, November 30, France restarted the the Emile-Huchet Power Plant in the town of Saint-Avold. This move by the French government is taking place amidst concerns from politician and activists who have suggested such moved by governments endanger the climate goals and public health.  

“Working here we know the negative impact of the coal plant, but nonetheless we see it as a necessary evil,” said Thomas, shift supervisor at the Emile-Huchet Power Plant, in the report. He also said, “Given the current state of the electrical network, I nonetheless fear greatly that this production tool is necessary in the medium term”.  

As France is heavily dependent on nuclear power, this move by the government comes at a time when the country spent decades to phase out its coal plants. But the report adds, aside from the consequence of the Russians cutting natural gas supplies, nearly half of France’s nuclear reactors are also closed for maintenance or due to other problems.  

The French government has also asked the public to reduce their energy consumption by 10% in the coming months. The report said, this decision has been taken by the government to avoid the risk of power cuts this winter.

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