High pollution from coal power plants in Kosovo

Pollution from coal-fired power plants in Kosovo increased instead of decreasing during 2020, according to a report published today by the CEE Bankwatch Network and the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research (CREA), in cooperation with the Balkan Green Foundation.

Unlike other countries in the region, where sulfur dioxide is the biggest problem, in Kosovo the highest violations come from dust emissions. In 2020 these reached 4.25 times above the legal limit, to 5,867 tons, a significant increase from 5,042 tons emitted during the years 2018 – 2019.

The data has not yet been made public. The Kosovo B2 unit emitted 6.64 times above the permissible limit, making it the largest polluter.

Sulfur emissions were also 1.8 times above the limit allowed in 2020, with 19,987 tons in total. This was a significant increase compared to 2018 (14,232 tons), despite a comparable number of working hours.

Kosovo had the largest violation of nitric oxide limits in 2020, 1.65 times more than allowed. Emissions also increased significantly during 2018 and 2020 – reaching 22,846 tons, almost 3,700 tons more than in 2018.

The Large Combustion Power Plant Directive – an EU directive to reduce emissions of hazardous substances, adapted for countries that are parties to the Energy Community Treaty – legally requires these countries to curb air pollution from their power plants since 2018.

However, according to the report, in 2020, the 18 coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans emitted two and a half times more sulfur dioxide than all 221 coal-fired power plants in the EU combined.

The full press release can be found here.