European coal collapses, wind and solar soar

Sandbag and Agora Energiewende, self-described ‘think tanks’ have launched a sixth annual report on European energy trends, showing the rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector.

The European Power Sector in 2019 aggregates data from every EU country to monitor electricity transition and reveals that coal generation has collapsed by 24 per cent in the EU during 2019. So called ‘hard coal generation’ dropped by 32 per cent, while lignite decreased by 16 per cent. This development is driven by CO2 price increases and deployment of renewables. Gas replaced around half of the coal, solar and wind the other half. The fall in coal means CO2 emissions in Europe’s power sector fell by a record 120 Mt, or 12 per cent in 2019, the largest recorded fall.

The report believes that this decline of coal will continue with Greece and Hungary both making commitments to phase out coal, leaving only Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia yet to start.

Renewables rose to a new record supplying over a third of needs (35 per cent) for European electricity. For the first time, wind and solar combined provided more electricity than coal, contributing 18 per cent of electricity in 2019, more than double since 2013. 2019 saw record low auction prices for offshore wind (UK) and solar (Portugal) and the largest wholesale price decreases in countries where wind and solar expanded most.

Full report here.

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