The EU has called for the closure of a polluting power plant in Kosovo but it is feared a shut-down could mean energy shortages.
The Kosovo A plant fails to meet modern environmental standards according to the European Commission. Local farmers in nearby Dardhishte complain about high amounts of dust and smoke: “When we plant something, it dies in a couple of days from the dust and ashes,” he says. “This did not happen in the past. My animals feed on dusty grass but they produce little milk and according to the doctors it is undrinkable.” 40 per cent of local people have left the area because of the conditions. The European Commission says Kosovo must apply EU standards under a treaty with the bloc. It wants the plant deccommissioned by 2017. Renzo Daviddi is the Head of the European Commission in Kosovo: “Kosovo A is an incredibly polluting plant with norms which are hundreds of times above the admissible standards in the European Union.” One of the oldest working coal-fired power plants in Europe, Kosovo A was built in 1962. If authorities fail to construct a new cleaner plant before it shuts down, they will have to look for energy elsewhere.