King coal retreats in Europe, but still powers global growth

Coal is having a bad time in Europe. Germany – the world’s fourth largest economy – has said it will phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038 while in the UK, the closure of another large coal plant was announced. Despite these setbacks, the fuel of the industrial revolution still has a vital role to play powering global growth in the future. German power plant operators have until next year to outline plans to replace lignite – often referred to as “brown coal” – as an electricity generating fuel. Last year, coal and lignite-fired power stations met 35% of German electricity demand, equivalent to generating over 200 TWh of power. The question is whether Germany – Europe’s biggest manufacturing nation – can remain competitive without cheap coal to generate power, especially in its strategic steel sector. According to the country’s steel federation, WV Stahl, annual additional energy costs would be €250 million for the entire sector. The total cost to the economy would be much greater. Costs for industry from higher power prices are controversial, with industry association BDI estimating a €14 billion hike at least. Germany’s big exporters are already exempt from green levies and may push hard for further… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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