Forbes – Silvio Marcacci
Deteriorating economics and stronger climate policies are squeezing European Union coal generation like a vise grip, closing power plants and threatening huge stranded asset costs.
The symbolic beginning of the end for EU coal generation came in April when the United Kingdom, birthplace of the coal-fired Industrial Revolution, ran without coal for 55 hours then for another 76 hours a week later – the longest stretch since the 1880s in the world’s 5th-largest economy.
Coal power is still running in many EU nations, but it could be rendered completely uneconomic – and obsolete – as soon as 2030. Forward-looking utilities and investors are planning accordingly, but how the EU power sector responds as a whole will determine if countries and their consumers are shouldered with billions in sunk costs.