Coal-fired electricity – biggest annual fall on record this year.
After 40 years of growth in coal use adding massively to the current climate crisis, coal powered stations are being shut down.
It’s expected to fall by 3% in 2019, which doesn’t sound much but it’s Germany’s, Spain’s and the UK’s combined coal generation. This is got to be great news for reducing carbon emissions.
Over that 40 years coal generation has only fallen twice – 2009 after the global financial crisis and 2015 in China when air pollution rose to deadly levels.
China’s use of coal has levelled off and India, falls for the first time in 30 years.
The reasons for using less coal-fired electricity is economic slowdown in Asia and more green energy technologies coming onstream.
There is also expected to be unprecedented coal declines across the EU and the US as developed economies turn to clean forms of energy.
The deepest cuts to coal power has been in the US closing down coal power stations and switching more to gas and green energy. The US has seen a 14% reduction over the same period to August 2019.
The EU, on the other hand, is on course to see a 23% reduction in 2019 over 2018. In favour is gas-fired electricity which can have about 50% of the carbon footprint of coal and, of course, renewable energy.
Unbelievably, China builds the equivalent of one large new coal plant every two weeks. They only run for only 48.6% of the time whereas globally they run for 54% on average. Hence China’s generation levelling off.
A report from the Global Energy Monitor revealed the number of coal -fired power stations globally were growing. This is because China is increasing its number five times faster than the rest of the world reducing theirs.
The industry journal, Carbon Brief said, “A 3% reduction in power sector coal use could imply zero growth in global CO2 output if emissions changes in other sectors mirror those during 2018.”
All in all it’s good to repeat, coal-fired electricity – biggest annual fall on record.