To dig or not to dig: three reasons why coal is the fuel of the past

Kateřina Davidová wrote a policy paper on the topic "To dig or not to dig: three reasons why coal is the fuel of the past", which will serve as a background material for the fourth debate from our project Prague Climate Talks. The event will take place on April 19th, 2018 at the European house.

Kateřina Davidová wrote a policy paper on the topic "To dig or not to dig: three reasons why cal is the fuel of the past", which will serve as a background material for the fourth debate from our project 'Prague Climate Talks'. The event will take place on April 19th, 2018 at the European house.

  • The world of energy is transforming at a fast pace and it is becoming increasingly clear that out of all the currently available sources of energy, coal will be at the receiving end of this global shift.
  • There are three main reasons for this trend: falling global demand, decreasing global investment into new projects, and an increasing pressure to make the coal industry comply with climate and pollution regulations.

From a long-term perspective, it is clear that coal is the fuel of the past, not the future. Despite the occasional increases in its consumption, the overall trends are showing that its role is diminishing.

Unlike the US president, the European Commission acknowledges this development and has introduced a new platform intended to help the “Coal Regions in Transition”6 manage these changes, adjust to the new life beyond coal and in general smoothen the process of transition as much as possible. Extra funding has been allocated to this initiative on top of the usual cohesion funds the EU uses for the developments of its poorer regions. It is important, however, to ensure that this initiative truly serves to prepare Europe for the post-coal era and does not play in the hands of the coal industry by supporting the so-called “clean” coal technologies, which has not been proven to work.

With many coal plants having to retire (or undergo an expensive renovation) in the upcoming years due to their obsolete technologies, and with few new plants planned to be built, the global coal fleet will certainly be diminishing. With low market prices of coal and high operating costs, coal-fired power plants are losing their attractiveness to investors faster than any other energy source.

Download the full paper through the PDF button on the right side of this article.

#PCT #Prague Climate Talks #Coal #Environment

Kateřina Davidová
Research Fellow

Expertise: EU climate and energy policy, environmental protection, EU-US relations.



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