Many European countries are shifting towards renewable energy resources and this has resulted in coal power plants becoming a burden. The decreasing costs of wind and solar energy are increasing the cost of running coal power plants. This is due to the increasing costs of European carbon allowances, permits need to allow greenhouse gas emissions and plans by different European nations to end coal power by 2030.
A report was published earlier this month by UK-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative, which shows that 54 percent of the coal plants in Europe are incurring losses and the number is expected to rise to 97 percent by the year 2030.
Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK have already announced plans to end coal plants by 2030 s0 they should be safe from the downfall. The report notes that due to the falling prices of wind and solar energy, by 2024 and 2027, building new onshore wind and solar plants will be cheaper than maintaining existing coal power plants.
“The changing economics of renewables, as well as air pollution policy and rising carbon prices, has put EU coal power in a death spiral,” said Carbon Tracker analyst Matthew Gray, one of the authors of the report, in a press release. “Utilities can’t do much to stop this other than drop coal or lobby governments and hope they will bail them out.”
The different European nations are expected to save a lot of money by closing down the coal power plants. Germany, which has the majority of these plants and is expected to save $14.1 billion. Other countries make savings as well: $3.1 billion for Poland, $2.5 billion for the Czech Republic, $2.1 billion for Spain, and around $1.9 billion for the U.K.
The report says “Coincidentally, by phasing out coal the UK is not only acting in the best interests of their citizens through improved air quality but also the financial interests of utility shareholders,” Maybe we will see other countries following the example and start investing in renewable energies rather than continue to incur these losses from the coal plants.