First cross-national RECPP workshop – Collection of feedback from stakeholders: Mapping of coal power plant sites

Date: 19 January 2021, 09:00-14:45h, Interactive online event

You are cordially invited to the first cross national RECPP workshop today. RECPP is about the re-purposing potential of coal-fired power plants thus opening perspectives for coal regions in transition beyond of the coal phase out. It complements and continues the activities undertaken under Coal Regions in Transition. Our aim is to establish RECPP in the next two years as a European flagship project raising political awareness of the value of people and assets engaged in coal regions in transition. We are curious to learn more about the view point of the European Commission on this in the plenary section of the RECPP workshop. Focus of the first workshop is the collection of feedback on the mapping of sites. This will help us to illustrate and determine the challenges and opportunities related to the re-purposing potential of European coal-power plants and its infrastructure. The key results expected as an outcome are an inventory of coal power plants in Europe, and an indication of the possibilities of their successful reuse. This will be the basis for our upcoming activities to map re-purposing solutions for coal power plant sites. This workshop had been scheduled to take place at GIG in Katowice, one of the European coal regions in the focus. Due to corona emergency it is rescheduled as an interactive online event. Thanks to the RFCS, the workshop is free of charge.

Dial-in details

Virtual Room 1

Meeting-ID: 847 8639 6720
Kenncode: 244976

Virtual Room 2

Meeting-ID: 870 1157 4802
Kenncode: 009529

Virtual Room 3

Meeting-ID: 469 712 4295
Kenncode: 3786251

Virtual Room 4

Meeting-ID: 828 6374 7092
Kenncode: 573611

Virtual Room 5

Meeting-ID: 831 4520 7041
Kenncode: 487243

Telephone dial-in numbers


Major chairman: Aleksandra Koteras, GIG



Virtual room


09:00-­ 09:10h

Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate and Environment, Poland, and Prof Stanislaw Prusek, GiG


09:10-­ 09:25h

RECPP – Impact for the European electricity industry
Oliver Then, VGB


Gathering of chat questions

09:25-­ 09:40h

The main challenges of the energy transformation process in the EU
Prof Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament


Gathering of chat questions

09:40-­ 09:55h

European initiatives for coal regions in transition in the context of Just Transition Plans and EU Green Deal
Anna Sobczak, EU Policy Coordinator for Coal regions in transition, DG Energy


Gathering of chat questions

09:55-­ 10:10h

Coal power plants in the transformation process. What’s next for sites and assets of coal-fired power plants?
Stanislaw Tokarski and Aleksandra Koteras, GIG


Gathering of chat questions

10:10-­ 11:00h

Panel discussion on coal power plants repurposing possibilities and on support mechanisms for Coal regions in transitions
Jerzy Buzek, Stanislaw Prusek, Anna Sobczak, Oliver Then, Stanislaw Tokarski

Moderator: Prof Reinhold Elsen, RWE


Answers to chat questions

Start of online poll/
Results of the poll

11:00-­ 11:10h

Coffee break

11:10-­ 11:50h

Virtual Room 2

Parallel group 1

Plant decommissioning, case-based:
phase out in discussion or to be expected

(Chairman: Jerzy Janikowski, TAURON Wytwarzanie)

We will discuss the situation in European countries where decisions on decommissioning coal-fired power plants are being made or are expected. We will focus on the problems of the energy mix in the transition period, the possible schedule of decommissioning coal-fired power plants, decommissioning costs and sources of financing. Participants will present their previous experience in this field and directions of development of liquidated assets. In the discussion panel, we hope to answer the question: how should the power plants decommission proceed? Will the experience so far allow us to develop a recommendation? How to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens fairly, leaving no one behind? Is it possible to use any special aid for power plants decommissioning?

Virtual Room 3

Parallel group 2

Plant decommissioning, case-based: phase out decided and ongoing

(Chairman: Thomas Eck, VGB)

In many European countries the phase-out of coal is already decided and scheduled, and the process is ongoing. We will focus on these ongoing projects and discuss topics which are relevant for the actual implementation of the decommissioning plans. Main aspect is the exchange of experiences in the sense of lessons learned. This includes topics like planning, legal issues and permits as well as practical aspects of decommissioning and dismantling itself.

Virtual Room 4

Parallel group 3

Regional transition stakeholders panel

(Chairman: Jan Bondaruk, GIG)

Within this group, good different approaches, governance strategies, and criteria of successful transition in Poland and other regions will be confronted. Examples and best practices of accelerating the energy transition of end-of-life coal-related assets relevant to coal power plants challenges will be identified. The panel will be composed of regional practitioners, decision-makers, and power industry representatives involved in the multidisciplinary process of territorial transition plans elaboration. The process requires a close cooperation and seamless coordination. Therefore the purpose of the panel is to assist smooth exchange of thoughts and share the experiences encountered during the fundraising activities aimed at just transition of coal regions.

11:50-­ 12:10h

Plenary summary and discussion


12:10-­ 13:00h

Lunch break

13:00-­ 14:00h

Virtual Room 2

Parallel group 4

Legal challenges for decommissioning and dismantling

(Chairman: Oliver Then, VGB)

Even before the shutdown project begins, the operator of a coal power plant faces many important legal questions that require meticulous preparation before they can be answered. An important aspect is to preserve the assets at the site for a re-use of the facility or components. Of vital significance for the work are both the choice of the right shutdown strategy and a decision as to whether a comprehensive shutdown permit or a progressive procedure with successive sub-permits is preferable in the specific case. The main goal is to keep as many as possible of permissions and allowances alive, especially for further use of infrastructure. The legal challenges differ from country to country and are discussed to receive a sustainable use of assets.

Virtual Room 3

Parallel group 5

Coal power plant end of life in Europe

(Chairman: Adolf Aumüller, VGB)

Focus of this group is to clarify the term end-of-life of a coal power plant. Many different aspects have to be taken into account depending on the technical, economic, or political view. Terms like shut down, interim cease of operation, or cold reserve are in common use. Reference parameter may be the single unit or the entire plant site. Status and handling of permissions is closely linked to this issue. Aim is a common understanding which power plants meet the status of being end-of-life. RECPP provides a unique opportunity to disclose the impact of re-purposing coal power plants on the European economy. A convincing approach is to identify the affected employees in terms of FTE and the related assets in terms of their economic value. Therefore a model and characteristic data for calculating assets (in Euro) and employees (in FTE) have to be created. Results must be based on reliable facts, data and numbers. These findings are most interesting for political decision makers and their future funding strategy.

Virtual Room 4

Parallel group 6

Key data for characterizing coal power plants for re-purposing

(Chairman: Michał Jabłoński, TGPE)

This discussion will cover the types of data and information on power plants and their operation that may be related to their future use at the end of their operation. The discussion will focus on those parameters that may be important when planning the transformation of shut down coal-fired power plants into other types of activity, while taking into account main goal, which is comprehensive recultivation of the land.

The most characteristic groups of parameters related to aspects of their operation will be discussed, such as, for example, technical parameters of power units, internal infrastructure dedicated to them, external infrastructure of the plant and its surroundings. Those elements and data, the acquisition of which is a key for the future use of the site, will be pointed.

Virtual Room 5

Parallel group 7

Sustainable solutions for repurposing - Outlook

(Chairman: Rainer Fronius, EDF)

Focus of this group is to draw a list of criteria that describe a sustainable solution for repurposing a coal power plant and its terrain. Wind, solar or batteries are certainly interesting, but we will try to gather and formulate ideas that go beyond these three. The economic aspect is important as is an approach based on local value chains and local employment. We will imagine the acceptability of new projects within an industrial, social and academic environment and also the ways cooperations between this diversity of players and our projects could be prepared. Finally we will keep an eye on the ideas that already emerged during the data gathering thus slightly anticipating what a matching process could need. RECPP provides a unique opportunity to disclose the impact of re-purposing coal power plants on the European economy. An approach based on existing processes, innovations and technologies still in the phase of development will help us draw an attractive image of what the energy landscape in Europe can be.

14:00-­ 14:45h

Final summary and outlook
Reference to the initial poll