EU power sector emissions plummet as coal use collapses

Output from coal and lignite-fired power plants in Europe dropped by a quarter last year, helping bring greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation down by 120 million tonnes - a 12% drop compared to 2018, marking the largest annual fall since at least 1990.

The change in Europe’s generation mix saw the contribution from renewable power sources hit a record high of 34.6%, according to a report published on Wednesday by the German think tank Agora Energiewende and the UK-based group Sandbag.

Another milestone passed last year was the combined power output of solar and wind installations in Europe overtaking that of coal-fired plants.

“Last year’s decline in EU greenhouse gas emissions is thanks largely to the CO2 emissions price, which continued to drive climate-damaging energy sources from the market,” said Matthias Buck, head of European energy policy at Agora.

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