May 22, 2018 Read More →

The Netherlands Announces Ban on Coal, Plans Close of 2 Power Plants by 2024


The Netherlands has announced that it will ban the use of coal for electricity generation from 2030 onwards, and that the two oldest plants must close by the end of 2024, in a move that Germany utility company RWE has deemed “ill judged.”

The power industry in Europe is undergoing a seismic shift as renewable energy sources such as onshore and offshore wind, and solar PV, continue to increase their share of the market. And, when you add more of something, more often than not something else will suffer, and in the case of Europe’s power sector, that ‘something’ is coal.

The most high-profile hit to coal came when the UK made the move to close all coal plants by 2025. Of course, coal has been losing market share steadily over the last few years due to renewable energy capacity increases, natural gas, and the success of neighboring interlinks — and just last month the UK went 76 hours without using or needing any coal at all.

Germany, too, this year announced it hopes to phase out coal by early 2019, and Finland announced in late 2016 it intended to ban all coal by 2030. Add in the fact that, according to a Carbon Tracker Initiative report published last December, 54% of all European coal plants are losing money, and if left unattended that figure would rise to 97% by 2030.

So, it should come as no real surprise, then, that the Netherlands’ Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, Eric Wiebes, announced last week that his country was moving to ban coal in all electricity generation from 2030 onwards. More specifically, all coal-fired power plants will be closed by 2030 at the latest, and the two oldest plants — the Hemweg and Amer coal-fired power plants — must shutter their doors by the end of 2024.

“The Netherlands phaseout decision is particularly striking because three of these power plants are brand new,” said Gerard Wynn, an energy finance consultant with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), speaking via email. “It is the ultimate warning for investors in new coal and coal power life extension in Europe. It adds to coal phaseout plans in the UK, Italy, France, Finland and Portugal, and other coal power headwinds and especially rising carbon prices and growth in renewables.”

The Netherlands Announces Ban On Coal, Plans Close Of 2 Power Plants By 2024

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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