EU losing billions on coal plants

If the EU phases out coal plants before the end of next year, a USD 22 billion loss can be avoided, shows a new analysis.

Photo: DONG

An analysis from green think tank Carbon Tracker estimates that the EU can avoid a USD 22 billion loss by phasing out coal power plants by the end of the next decade, reports Financial Times.

54 percent of all power plants in the EU are already running at a loss. According to Carbon Tracker, this figure will rise to 97 percent in 2030 if the European authorities take action in accordance with the Paris climate accord from 2015.

"The changing economics . . . has put EU coal power in a death spiral," said Matt Gray, Carbon Tracker analyst and co-author of the report to Financial Times.

Already in 2024, it will be cheaper to produce wind and solar than to continue to operate expensive coal plants. This is partly because renewables technology will decline in price while the price on emissions will increase in 2021.

Despite the forecast from Carbon Tracker, released less than a week before the next climate summit in Paris, thus far the EU has only planned a collective reduction of coal power by 27 percent.

According to Gray, there are several reasons for Europe's lack of preparedness. This includes those interests who hope that energy prices will rise in EU areas which are highly dependent on coal. The analyst also sees a lack of political will as the closure of coal power plants will cost jobs.

English Edit: Lena Rutkowski

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