According to non-profit climate change think tank Sandbag Coal generation in the EU collapsed by 19% in the first half of this year, with falls in almost every coal-burning country.
Half of coal’s fall was replaced by wind and solar, and half was replaced by switching to fossil gas. If this continues for the rest of the year it will reduce CO2 emissions by 65 million tonnes compared to last year, and reduce EU’s GHG by 1.5%. Coal generation already had fallen 30% from 2012 to 2018.
However, even if these falls continued in 2019, coal generation is still likely to account for 12% of the EU’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions.
“2019 may mark the beginning of the end for coal power in Europe. The biggest falls are by those countries encouraging wind and solar and planning for a coal phase-out. Now that carbon pricing is finally working with price approaching €30 per tonne, the economics have already shifted not only from coal to gas generation, but also from coal to clean generation. And now the economics have changed, policy-makers will now find it is much easier to support wind and solar, and to plan for a full transition from coal to clean. Every country could achieve a 2030 coal phaseout, if they put their mind to it.” (Electricity Analyst, Sandbag)