“Can’t ignore: black coal and the EU”

Author: Vlastimil Vilímek | Prague on 14.02.2024

Recently, Europe has been actively trying to reduce its dependence on coal.

The transition to greener energy sources is a priority for Europe, but reality shows that this process will take many more years of effort.

In 2022, the European Union saw a surge in the production and consumption of hard coal,

with production reaching 349 million tonnes, up 5% on the previous year, and consumption rising to 454 million tonnes, a 2% increase.

The main driver of this trend was lignite.

In the EU, hard coal is mainly mined in Poland and the Czech Republic, which are the last major producers in the Union.

Poland and Germany have become the main consumers of hard coal in the EU, together accounting for almost two-thirds of total consumption in 2022, with Poland (38%) and Germany (25%) leading the way, followed by Italy, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Germany’s plans to phase out coal-fired power plants have been temporarily postponed due to the war in Ukraine and the associated energy crisis.

Coal and coking coal play a dual role in Europe – they are not only a source of energy for power and heat generation, but also an essential raw material for metallurgy.

Prospects for 2024 and beyond

As 2024 approaches, Europe’s energy economy is preparing for a new era, with several countries announcing plans to phase out coal.

According to the latest update as of January 2024, many European countries plan to completely phase out coal by 2030, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, which is seen as a key step in the fight against climate change.

While countries such as Belgium and Sweden no longer use coal in their energy mix, others, including Germany, have set a target to phase out coal by 2038, reflecting the different economic and political realities of each country.

The challenge for Europe is to strike a balance between climate protection and energy security.

As Europe moves towards an energy transition, it is essential to ensure a fair transition for workers and communities dependent on coal extraction and use to minimise the social and economic impacts of this fundamental change.

Finally, we would like to thank you for your attention to our article and for any comments you chose to leave.

Our primary goal is to constantly increase energy savings in the industrial supply sector.

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