‘Closing coal-fired power stations breaks competition law’

The agreement by energy firms, ministers, enviromental groups and unions to ensure the five old coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands are closed down conflicts with competition law, according to competition authority ACM.

‘We have established this decision will disadvantage the consumer,’ ACM spokesman Henk Don told the Financieele Dagblad. ‘It will lead to an increase in power prices because supply will be limited.’

The closure of the power stations is central to the energy agreement finalised at the end of August.

The government’s advisory body SER, which brokered the deal, said in a reaction it will now look at how the power stations can be mothballed without falling foul of competition law.

And it criticised the ACM for looking at the power stations in isolation, rather than as part of an integrated package of measures.

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