Power shift: EU coal output falls 24% in 2019

(EurActiv, 5 Feb 2020) Global warming emissions from the power sector fell by 12% last year, led by a steep decline in coal power generation, which was replaced half by natural gas and half by renewables, according to fresh data published on Wednesday (5 February).

The power sector’s CO2 emissions declined at record speed in 2019 – by 12% or 120 million tonnes, according to climate think tanks Agora Energiewende and Sandbag.

Hard coal and lignite-fired power generation fell in every EU country – and by 24% overall – according to fresh data on European power sector emissions, covering all EU member states, including the UK.

The drop was sharper in 2019 than in any year since at least 1990, and could be attributed chiefly to Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, and Italy, which together accounted for 80% of coal power decline, the two think tanks said.

“If you look at Western Europe, 70% of all coal plants will have been phased out in the next five years,” said Kristian Ruby, secretary-general of Eurelectric, a trade association.

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EurActiv, 5 Feb 2020: Power shift: EU coal output falls 24% in 2019