The EU ditches coal
European greenhouse gas emissions continue to decline as countries switch from coal to renewable energy sources. By 2030, 13 EU countries will be without coal.
The transition to more sustainable forms of energy has led to emissions reductions, according to a recent report by the European Environment Agency monitoring group. EU and UK member states cut total greenhouse gas emissions by 2.1 percent in 2018. The agency links this to a reduction in coal combustion by nearly 50 million tons.
So far, two countries have committed to mining coal this year. Austria closed its last coal-fired power plant in April. The Melach plant has produced more than 30 billion kWh of electricity and 20 billion kWh of heaters over the past 34 years.
Climate Minister Leonore Gessler described the closure as “historic”. “Austria has finally come out of the coal supply and is taking another step towards eliminating fossil fuels,” he said. This nation wants to be climate neutral by 2040.
A week later, Sweden closed its last coal-fired power plant two years earlier than planned. “Our goal is that all our production comes from renewable or recycled energy,” said Exergi AB, who manages the Stockholm plant.
Belgium is the first country to break coal relations in 2016. Three EU countries have abandoned coal. According to Europe Beyond Coal, France, Slovakia, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary and Denmark will mine coal in 2030. According to NS Energy, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg. , Malta and Switzerland “never have the ability to speak”.
With the rise of renewable energy sources, Britain will also be coal free. The former European Union country reached the runway last month and produced all coal-free electricity on 60 consecutive days. The government has announced that it will close all coal-fired power plants by 2025.
Germany, which produces about half of EU lignite power, plans to close the remaining 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038. By early 2019, energy from fossil fuels accounts for 40 percent of German electricity.
Instead of coal, Germany and other countries are turning to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. In 2018, renewable energy sources constitute 18.9 percent of energy consumption in the EU, with a target of 20 percent by the end of 2020.