Renewable energies chip away at coal power, stats show

(EurActiv, 30 Jan 2019) New wind, solar and biomass power generation displaced hard coal last year – especially in Germany, France and the UK – according to a 2018 review of European electricity statistics by two leading energy policy think tanks.

Renewable energies continued to pick up last year to reach 32.3% of total power generation in the EU, up two percentage points from the previous year, according to the report, published today (30 January).

Total coal power generation fell by 6% across the EU in 2018 and is now 30% below 2012 levels, the analysis found, confirming the rapid decline of coal in electricity generation across most European countries.

“This was caused by renewables growth in Germany and the UK and by the return of hydro in Italy and Spain,” said the report by Agora Energiewende and Sandbag, two leading energy think tanks.

Overall, CO2 emissions from the power sector fell by 5% in 2018, driven by the phase-out of coal, which was particularly steep in the UK and Germany, the report said. In Britain, the share of electricity production from hard coal fell from 40% in 2012 to 5% in 2018, while in Germany it fell from 19% to 13% over the same period.

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EurActiv, 30 Jan 2019: Renewable energies chip away at coal power, stats show