Everything you need to know about the death of Europe’s coal industry!
Is coal energy dying? Yes, especially in Europe! In 2017, the EU's 28 member states generated more electricity from renewable energy (wind/solar/biomass) from coal. Renewable energy now accounts for over a fifth of the EU’s energy supply: 20.9% in 2017. That’s more than double what it was 8 years ago (coal is at 20.6%) (figures from Sandbag & Agora Energiewende). Because coal is the largest human made contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, there are laws created to reduce air pollution. These will raise the price for carbon emissions, causing plants to become unprofitable. According to Carbon Tracker, 97% of coal power plants will be losing money by 2030! More than half of the EU’s coal power stations are already running at a loss. If the coal plants prolong their closure it could cause losses of 22 billion euros by 2030!
Although the coal industry is dying, the fuel is still being used. German energy firm RWE is opening a new coal mine. According to the chief state secretary of energy, Thomas Bareiß, this is needed to maintain the country’s energy supplies. Germany still produces 40% of energy from coal but the country seeks to reduce their reliance on coal.
Overall, we are seeing the last of coal energy in Europe, the world will also soon follow suit.