Power generation from coal was down 19 percent in Europe, and 22 percent in Germany, in the first six months 2019, according to analysis by climate change think tank Sandbag.
“2019 may mark the beginning of the end for coal power in Europe,” Sandbag electricity analyst Dave Jones said, adding that the biggest cuts in coal use were in countries “encouraging wind and solar and planning for a coal phase-out”.
The think tank said the growth of wind and solar was a major factor, but the rising cost of CO2 allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System also boosted the use of gas, which has fallen in price over the last few months. At the same time, a number of European coal plants have shut down. In absolute terms, Germany saw by far the biggest decline in coal power, with production falling at 32 of the country’s 35 lignite plants. Yet Germany was still responsible for 35 percent of total EU coal power generation, according to cleanenergywire.org.