In a time when North America is attempting to reduce it’s dependence on coal energy, Forbes reported the rise of 3.3% in the consumption of coal in Europe since 2010, with Germany’s consumption reigning at 77.5 million tonnes, while Spain’s consumption increased by more than half.
As quoted in the report:
The reasons for Europe’s backsliding on coal dependency are purely financial: cheap coal imports from the U.S. have boosted profit margins at coal-fired power plants to a two-and-a-half year high, according to Bloomberg, while carbon permits – the centerpiece of the EU Emissions Trading System – have dropped to prices that make it more reasonable to burn coal and pay for the permits, rather than shifting to renewables or other relatively high-cost fuels. Permit prices have fallen about 17% this year, to around €8 ($10) per ton, even as the EU hands out free “transition” allowances to utilities in Poland and elsewhere.
In an analysis for The Breakthrough Institute, Alex Trembath commented:
The continent-wide cap-and-trade regime in operation in Europe continues to disappoint, as nations switch back to dirty coal-fired electricity generation.