France will shut down about half its coal-fired power stations by 2015, replacing them with natural-gas-fired plants, as part of the European Copenhagen agreement to cut carbon emissions 20% by 2020.
Germany’s RWE AG, the single largest carbon emitter in Europe, said it won’t build new coal-fired power plants, finding that they are no longer economically feasible. The UK will build no new coal plants without carbon-capture technology.
Vattenfall AB, Scandinavia’s largest utility and one of the first to test CCS technology, has also pioneered adaptations of coal plants, such as this one in Denmark, making them able to run on biomass instead of coal.
France has plans to build two new nuclear plants to replace two that may need to be shut down, as they are deciding whether they can continue to operate reactors beyond 30 years safely or whether they have to be shut down.
While most EU nations will increase the share of energy supplied from renewable sources to make up the difference, energy efficiency methods will also be used to reduce consumption as well with “negawatts.” Other fossil fuels will be substituted as well, that have lower carbon emissions.
Susan Kraemer writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate and GreenProphet and has been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design she brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention: solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times. Follow Susan @dotcommodity on twitter.