Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
New analysis published this week has shown that European Union power emissions fell by 4.5% in 2016, thanks in large part to a massive switch from coal generation to gas generation.

Coal

European Shift From Coal To Gas Drops Power Emissions 4.5%

New analysis published this week has shown that European Union power emissions fell by 4.5% in 2016, thanks in large part to a massive switch from coal generation to gas generation.

New analysis published this week has shown that European Union power emissions fell by 4.5% in 2016, thanks in large part to a massive switch from coal generation to gas generation.

The new report was published by think tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende on Wednesday, analyzing the European power sector as it pertains to the energy transition — “the transformation of the power sector from a fossil-based to a decarbonised world with renewables at the centre.”

According to the two think tanks, European coal generation fell by 94 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2016, while gas generation increased by 101 TWh — resulting directly in 48 megatonnes less carbon dioxide emitted. Half of this happened in the United Kingdom, as numerous coal plants were shuttered permanently, and a higher carbon price was enacted. Italy, Netherlands, Germany, and Greece also combined to the massive switch from coal to gas.

Unfortunately for gas proponents, gas generation was still well below the 2010 record of 168 TWh, showing that more coal to gas switching is possible without additions to infrastructure.

“The large switch from dirty coal to gas is welcome news,” explained Dave Jones, analyst at Sandbag. “It helps the climate, and more importantly leads to cleaner air for Europe. Further switching away from coal is possible without building new gas pipelines and gas power plants. However, the ingredients to make this happen do not yet exist — few old coal plants have announced they are planning to close, and gas is still more expensive than coal because of a low carbon price.”

As for renewables, the report found that there was very little change, only increasing from 29.2% in 2015 to 29.6% worth of the overall electricity mix. The report concluded that bad solar and wind conditions were partly responsible for this, especially considering that wind and solar conditions were well above average in 2015. Even so, new capacity installed was still relatively small.

On the plus side, massive price drops for renewable energy has given hope to the industry for future growth — specifically, low renewables auction resulted across the region, with 49,9 Euros/MWh for wind offshore and 53,8 Euros/MWh for solar, both in Denmark.

Electricity consumption only rose 0.5% over the year, despite European GDP increasing by 1.7% — another example of the slow decoupling of energy consumption with GDP.

The authors of the report also predict further big falls in fossil generation in 2017, but they are uncertain whether that is likely to happen in the coal or gas sectors.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

"New model, new platform, new class: MG Motor is set to hit the ground running in the full-electric hatchback class with the all-new MG4...

Cars

Citroën has a hot new 100% electric vehicle, the ë-C4 X, and it just entered the UK. As Citroën describes the ë-C4 X, it...

Clean Power

Wallflowers no more: solid oxide fuel cells are ready to do the green hydrogen dance.

Cars

The automobile assembly and motor vehicle component manufacturing industry is a critical pillar of the South African economy. Before the Covid19 pandemic, South Africa’s...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.