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Coal-fired power plants, the emissions in Europe rise for the first time since 2015

ETS EU data on the emissions from coal-fired power plants in 2021

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – In 2021 the world was supposed to say goodbye forever to coal. It happened quite the opposite. Even in the most industrialized countries. How the COP26 went is known, with the correction imposed by India: not “abandon” but “reduce” the use of coal. On the other hand, how the year went for coal-fired power plants in Europe is told by the 2021 data related to the ETS.

Last year, CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants increased by 17% compared to 2020. The top 10 largest emission sources recorded in the European carbon market are all anthracite or lignite plants and their weight is 12% of the total. More than half of the emissions of the energy sector covered by the Emission Trading Scheme are located in only two countries: Germany and Poland.

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Something unprecedented happens for the European coal in 2021: such an increment has never been recorded in the last 17 years since the ETS was in force. The emissions from coal-fired power plants have risen again for the first time since 2015, reversing the course. This is stated by the think tank Ember in an analysis of the latest ETS data published this month. Niederaußem plant, in Germany, managed by RWE, has made a leap of even +36% in 12 months. PGE plants, the Polish state utility, emit as the entire Italian energy sector (over 70 Mt CO2/year).

In the EU energy sector, the rising gas prices made the coal became more competitive, financially speaking, in the second half of the 2021 increasing the production of lignite and coal”, explain Ember’s researchers. “The gas production decreased by 5% across EU in 2021, while coal increased by 20% because it became cheaper”.

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