Spain recently closed its 15 coal-fired plants with a capacity of 4.6 gigawatts (GW) and the country's remaining coal-based electricity production capacity will be phased out by 2025, according to a recent report by GlobalData, a data and analytics firm.
The COVID-19 lockout resulted in a substantial decrease in the share of coal-based electricity production, which in April, May and June 2020, respectively, constituted 1.8%, 1.3% and 2% of total generation, according to Spain’s national grid operator Red Electrica de Espana.
Meanwhile, in the first half of 2020, just 2.6% of the overall electricity generation came from coal in Spain – down from 6.5% in 2019.
“The decision to close some plants came as a likely result of the high cost of carbon emissions from the coal-fed electricity plants, therefore making them unprofitable,” Somik Das, senior power analyst at GlobalData, was quoted as saying in the report.
“In 2019, the cost of a ton of carbon emissions was €25, inferring that in numerous European nations coal-fired electricity isn’t as beneficial as other choices such as natural gas or renewable energy sources,” Das added.
“Spain has several combined-cycle plants that use gas and can effortlessly supplant the coal-powered plants,” Das noted and attributing to figures revealed by GlobalData, he underlined that Spain had 5.0% of its generation come from coal in 2019 and by 2025, “if not a complete reduction, this share is likely to be exceptionally meagre in comparison.”
Last week, London-based climate think tank EMBER revealed in a report that Europe's renewable electricity generation, for the first time ever, surpassed fossil fuel production in the first half of 2020.
According to the same report, Poland currently generates more coal-fired energy than Germany and as much as the remaining European countries combined.
Poland on Monday announced plans to stop relying on coal resources by 2060 at the latest while most other EU countries have already announced their plans to commit to carbon neutrality.
By Sibel Morrow