Until recently, the term ‘coal phaseout’ was taboo in Central Europe. But things are changing in Czechia and Slovakia. Hard coal mines are continuously shutting down because of low purchase prices of coal and strong foreign competition. Lignite mines, facing emissions regulations and pollution charges, are slowly following suit. Kateřina Davidová and Lenka Ilčíková explain.
Renewable energy is making coal redundant in Germany – so why are lignite plants still being held as a reserve? The costs of keeping them on standby are massive, and the emissions are even worse. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes an in-depth look.
In Germany’s Appalachia, the last coal mine is closing. Local residents were skeptical at first, but jobs in technology and renewables, as well as social cohesion are helping the energy transition move forward.
Nowhere in the EU is smog more suffocating than in southern Poland. This year, the polluted Polish mining city Katowice will host the COP24 climate conference. Ahead of that, change is in the air — and on the ground. Richard Fuchs takes a look.
Michał Olszewski has long written about the Polish conservative government trying (and failing) to bail out coal, and maintain energy independence. But these expensive and polluting practices could be coming to an end. Slowly but surely, the energy transition emerges in Poland.
French President Macron has proposed closer cooperation with Germany to strengthen the EU. One aspect is higher carbon prices – between 25 and 30 euros per ton of CO2. Craig Morris explains what impact different prices would have on Germany’s energy system.
The majority of Kosovo’s energy comes from lignite, and a new plant is being planned (despite potential problems with the European Union). Communities must invest in renewables, which can help revitalize local economies, increase democratic participation, and improve the environment. Jasminka Young explains.
The president and the parliamentary majority have recently taken two decisions that will significantly influence the development of the renewable energy industry in Poland. Although at the outset these legal changes seemed promising, their consequences now appear bound to be negative. Michał Olszewski explains.
In the first half of 2016, 36.4 percent of the electricity produced in Germany was renewable according to preliminary data. The target for 2020 is only 35 percent – and that figure does not include power exports. Renewables seem to be cutting into both coal power and nuclear; gas is up. Craig Morris explains.