30 Jan 2019, 13:28
Sören Amelang

Hard coal phase out gains pace in Europe, lignite exit barely started – analysis

The hard coal exit in Europe gathers pace as renewables increasingly displaced the fossil fuel in Germany and France in 2018, but a phase-out of lignite has barely begun, according to an analysis by German think tank Agora Energiewende* and UK-based Sandbag on the progress of Europe's energy transition. The share of electricity from renewable sources in the European Union rose more than two percentage points in 2018 to reach 32.3 percent, according to the report.

Half of Europe’s lignite generation in 2018 was in Germany, but the coal commission’s exit proposal “indicates more hard coal plants will close than lignite by 2022 and by 2030, suggesting that Germany’s phase-out will be faster for hard coal and slower for lignite,” according to the report. “The other half of 2018 lignite generation was in six countries where discussions have yet to bear fruit: Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Slovenia.”

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