The big spike in the price of natural gas has made lignite, for the moment, a cheaper proposition, despite the penalties paid, experts say.
Lignite, or brown coal, is notoriously polluting, and electricity companies pay high “emissions rights” fees. Still, keeping the newer lignite plants burning “is more rational than building more infrastructure for the very expensive and imported natural gas,” says Sevastianos Mirasgentis, research director at the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development.
Ultimately, he says, renewable sources are the only way to achieve lower energy prices.
The government has boosted lignite production in view of the upheaval in global energy markets.