The country’s last coal power plant in Langerlo closed at the end of March
Belgium becomes the seventh EU country that quits coal power, joining Cyprus, Malta, Luxembourg, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This is a huge change in the country’s power generation, as coal had a 27% share just 20 years ago!
Langerlo’s closure coincides with that of Longannet – Scotland’s biggest coal power plant and will reduce Belgium’s CO2 emissions by almost 2 million tons per year, more than 1% of the country’s total. The power plant will most probably be converted to burn biomass. Other EU countries are also moving away from coal. Portugal has set 2020 as the final date for a complete transition, UK and Austria 2025 and Finland some point within the next decade.
According to scientists, more than 80% of coal reserves need to stay unburned, in order to hold global warming to 2°C in comparison to pre-industrial levels, the internationally agreed upper limit set under the Paris agreement. However, due to its low price, coal is still being extensively used in Europe. In Germany, the EU’s largest economy, 40% of electricity production is based on coal burning. In Poland, this percentage reaches 85% (the largest in Europe), and there are also plans to implement new legislation pushing the country’s energy mix further towards coal and biomass over wind power.
Source: Climate Home