EU coal capacity down 7.5GW, study finds

EU countries retired 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of coal power capacity in 2019, representing more than a fifth (22%) of coal capacity retired globally, an annual survey by Greenpeace International, the Sierra Club, and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air has shown.

The Global Energy Monitor revealed that the amount of power generated from coal in 2019 declined by 3% compared to 2018, with “global coal plants now operating at an average 51% of their available operating hours”. 

The largest proportion of coal plant retirements was in the USA (16.5 GW, or 48% of the world’s total), while China and India slowed their efforts.

For coal plant developments, there was a 16% year-on-year drop in capacity and a 66% drop since 2015. But overall, the coal fleet grew by 34.1GW, the first increase since 2015, with almost two-thirds of newly commissioned plants in China.

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