Brussels is planning to help EU coal regions diversify into renewables, advanced coal technology and energy efficiency, as part of an initiative launched on Monday.

The initiative comes a day after a report by Carbon Tracker predicting the accelerated demise of coal as a power source.

The Coal Regions in Transition Platform is part of the Commission’s strategy to support the EU’s overall goal to decarbonize its economy by 2050.
EU Commission
Electricity from coal is declining. This is an irreversible trend toward clean power … in Europe,” EU climate action and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said Monday.

“There will be certain regions which find it more difficult than others to make this transition … no region should be left behind when moving away from fossil fuels,” he said.

The pilot teams aim to help speed up economic diversification through technical assistance, information exchange and talks on relevant EU funds, programs and financing tools.

Carbon Tracker, the UK think tank yesterday reported that coal power in the EU is in a ‘death spiral’ with more than half of the EU’s 619 coal-fired power plants cashflow negative.

In its report, Lignite of the Living Dead, Carbon Tracker looked at how a scenario for the EU’s 28 states that is compliant with limiting the rise in global warming to below 2°C might affect the valuation of coal-fired power plants in the coming years.

Carbon Tracker developed an “asset-level model” that determines a retirement schedule and explains the financial implications for investors. Currently, 54 percent of the EU’s coal-fired power plants are operating at a loss. In 10 years or so, fully 97 percent of the power plants will be losing money.

At the present time, 27 percent of the EU28’s coal-fired power plants are set to be phased out by 2030. However, according to the report, if all the coal-powered facilities were to be phased out by 2030 in keeping with the Paris Agreement