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Germany to exit coal power “well before 2050”

Reuters reported at the beginning of May 2016 that “according to a draft environment ministry document”, coal-fired power production in Germany should come to an end “well before 2050”.

The draft document:

• says that CO₂ emissions from the energy sector will need to be halved by 2030 compared to 2014 levels;
• proposes setting up a committee to come up with recommendations on how to phase out coal while averting economic hardship for those working in coal-producing regions;
• calls for a faster expansion of renewables than currently envisaged and says support for solar power needs to be increased;
• says the amount of energy produced by green sources should increase by around 75 percent by 2030;
• says that support for research into energy-storage technologies should be doubled over the next 10 years;
• says that the government will also push for a stricter European emissions trading system and is considering whether an additional levy on petrol, heating oil and gas would increase demand for green technologies.

Source and link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germanyenvironment-coal-idUSKCN0XU1R1

Huge health impacts from Balkan coal plants

New study quantifies the public health costs of polluted air from existing coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans at up to €8.5 billion per year.

New estimates of the huge health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in the Western Balkan region were published in March by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). The report provides an estimate of the total health damage from air pollution released from coal power plants in five countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

Currently home to 15 existing coal plants with an installed capacity of 8.1 gigawatt (GW), the region could see the installation of 24 new projects with 7.8 GW capacity. The estimated health costs of future coal plants are also shown in the report.

For its energy production, the region is heavily dependent on coal and lignite (the most polluting form of coal), and seven of the ten most polluting coal-fired power stations in Europe are located here (see table).

Table : The ten European coal power plants with the biggest emissions of sulphur dioxide (tonnes).

Table : The ten European coal power plants with the biggest emissions of sulphur dioxide (tonnes).

Air pollution is at levels that are up to two and a half times above national air quality safety limits and well beyond what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends. According to the WHO, the estimated economic cost of early deaths from air pollution in Serbia amounts to 33.5 per cent of its GDP; in Bosnia and Herzegovina 21.5 per cent, in Macedonia 19.9 per cent and in Montenegro 14.5 per cent. By comparison, the figures for Germany and the UK are respectively 4.5
and 3.7 per cent.

The study puts the costs to health of emissions from existing coal plants in the five Western Balkan countries at up to €8.5 billion per year. This estimate covers costs directly related to air pollution from coal-fired electricity plants, including from premature deaths, respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, new cases of chronic bronchitis and lower respiratory problems, medication use and days of restricted activity due to ill-health, including lost working days.

A large proportion – more than half – of the health costs caused by air pollution from coal-fired power plants in the five Western Balkan countries is borne by the population in surrounding countries due to the transboundary effects of air pollutants being carried by the wind. According to HEAL, this shows that the EU’s current efforts to improve air quality in its member countries should not stop at its borders.

EU policy-makers should also put their weight behind demands for strong air quality and pollution control measures in its Western Balkan neighbours.

“Our new report quantifies the huge health costs associated with coal power generation in the Western Balkans, and uncovers the myth that coal is the cheapest form of energy,” says Anne Stauffer, Deputy Director of HEAL.

She continues: “Opting out of coal offers the prospect of a healthier and more prosperous future. The EU should encourage the change to a healthy energy future by significantly increasing financial support for renewables and energy savings – for example, under the pre-accession programme. It would improve air quality and help tackle climate change in both the Western Balkans and in the rest of Europe.”.

Christer Ågren

Source: HEAL press release 15 March 2016.

The report “The Unpaid Health Bill – How coal power plants in the Western Balkans make us sick” can be downloaded at:
http://env-health.org/IMG/pdf/14032016_technical_report_balkans_coal_en_final.pdf

China Cuts Coal Use for Second Year in a Row – But can its numbers be trusted?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/china-cuts-coal-use-for-second-year-in-a-row/

The announcement yesterday that China decreased its coal consumption for the second year in a row raises hope that the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter might peak its emissions years earlier than it promised ahead of the Paris climate talks, experts said yesterday.

Year-on-year decreases in consumption in 2014 and 2015 show China on a trajectory to meet its pledge to cap emissions by 2030—a promise that helped make a global climate deal possible in the French capital last year.

“It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue, although it is very much in line with the government’s overall goals to peak its CO2 emissions, to transition from heavy industry to services and other low-carbon industries and to fight air pollution,” said Barbara Finamore, China program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The nation’s coal use fell 3.7 percent last year compared with 2014, when it dropped 2.9 percent from its peak in 2013, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The drop stems from an economic slowdown and from a reordering of the Chinese economy away from the heavy industry that helped it industrialize. Last year, the service industry accounted for 50 percent of gross domestic product for the first time this century. And while a share of that energy- and carbon-intensive production will likely relocate abroad, much of it reflects a drop in domestic demand related to China’s infrastructure needs having been met, said Finamore.

She said the decrease is also a testament to China’s effort of phasing in clean energy policies in earnest three years ago.

“2013 is the year when China really declared war on pollution,” she said. The government established a pollution control plan in urban areas that year, introduced carbon-trading pilot projects and mandated reductions in coal use.

While yesterday’s announcement establishes a downward trend in coal consumption, it is set against the backdrop of last year’s revelation that China had been underestimating its own coal consumption since 2000. An energy census conducted in 2013 using more comprehensive methods than previous surveys showed that China consumed 17 percent more coal in 2012 than previously estimated.

“This is going to be one of the problems with China in particular,” said Sarah Ladislaw, energy and national security program director for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “What baseline are we talking about?”

Accounting uncertainties

Improving the integrity and transparency of China’s data is necessary if the world is to have confidence in China’s future pledges toward international climate efforts, she said. The Paris Agreement requires a review of implementation in 2018 and invites countries to revise their post-2020 reduction pledges in 2020.

“If everybody is going to be trying to increase ambition based off of Paris—which is clearly the objective—what the underlying assumptions are of what your emissions were going to be or what your baseline number is, is really, really important,” said Ladislaw. “And in China, that is recognizably not reliable information.”

But Ladislaw and others say that last year’s discovery of the error is itself evidence that Chinese data is improving.

Ranping Song, developing country climate manager for the World Resources Institute, said he has greater confidence in China’s report that it has reduced coal use for two years because it disclosed the previous underreporting.

The two-year trend is significant, he said.

“I think it’s an indicator of China’s economic structure is transitioning, and a strong willingness to fight air pollution is much more likely to be a long-term trend rather than just a one year” decline, he said.

China’s drop in energy intensity is the result in part of energy efficiency improvements, he said. The National People’s Congress is due to consider its next five-year plan in March, he said, and if it continues those trends, China will be “well-positioned to implement its Paris commitments.”

Also yesterday, the Chinese government announced that it has moved 1.8 million workers away from the coal and steel sectors to reduce excess capacity. The move shows how quickly an authoritarian government can pivot its economy, especially when it retains control of core industries.

But some questions persist about yesterday’s report. A shift to higher-quality—and higher-emitting—coal may have counteracted the carbon-related benefits of the overall reduction in coal use.

And increases in China’s oil and gas use might have offset the dip in whole or in part.

“What is clear is their economy is slowing, they don’t need to use as much coal, the enormous upsurge in coal use was prompted by very high industrial growth, and the same industries—which were very energy-intensive—have either contracted or stopped growing entirely,” said Derek Scissors, who focuses on China at the American Enterprise Institute.

Chinese industry declining

China will peak its emissions long before 2030, he said. It’s even possible that it has already, though China has not said when its emissions will decline in absolute terms.

But the days of exploding Chinese emissions rates are now over, Scissors said.

“If they had made that Paris commitment back in Copenhagen—where they weren’t at all willing to make it—it would have been a huge deal,” he said, referring to the 2009 climate summit in the Danish capital. “This is all five years too late to be interesting.”

With coal use down and green spending still steady for the time being, China may claim to be an environmental champion, Scissors said.

That may be more than the world’s second-highest emitter can do. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern is in China through tomorrow to meet with counterparts on the Paris deal and to discuss “bilateral cooperation on climate change, international climate change goals for 2016, and U.S. and Chinese domestic policies to address climate change.”

But while China can point to its coal numbers and other developments, Stern is likely to field questions on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to delay implementation of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan—a pillar of the United States’ Paris pledge.

And that’s not the only question Stern’s counterparts may have, said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

“God knows, everybody is asking, ‘What if there’s a Republican administration? What happens to the U.S. [pledge]?’” he said. “So those questions are being asked on both sides.”

The Paris Agreement has provisions that are designed to boost the transparency of carbon reporting and accounting, though developed and developing countries start out with different levels of obligations that then converge over time.

Scissors said that China is unlikely to improve its transparency on any issue because of an international agreement.

“They consider information control a core element of the party’s grip on power,” he said.

What matters is whether the Communist Party decides that increasing disclosure on energy and environment issues is in its best interest, he said, adding, “I think there is some suggestion of that.”

Energy, Climate Change & Environment

Download (PDF, 8.15MB)

Report: Coal, biomass mix may be in military jet fuel future

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/12710/report-coal-biomass-mix-may-be-in-military-jet-fuel-future

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology recently released results of a research project that investigated the technical feasibility, commercial viability and environmental compliance of the use of liquefied coal and biomass mixtures as a military jet fuel replacement.

Overall, the research “showed potentially highly effective alternative fuel resources that can end the current debate,” according to the project report. Objectives of the study included the investigation, through analyses and testing of the use of domestic coal and biomass mixtures to make liquid fuel (CBTL), with a focus on gasification.

The project team executed gasification testing and analyses of 150 coal-biomass feedstock tests, performing them at five different partner and facility locations—the Energy and Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks. N.D., the U.S. DOE National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Alabama, Westinghouse Plasma Corporation at Madison, Pennslyvania, ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. in Durham, North Carolina, and Emery Energy Company in Laramie, Wyoming.

All CO2 footprint projections of alternative jet fuel made from solid feedstocks tested were below the petroleum baseline for blended jet fuel (50 percent alternative fuel plus 50 percent petroleum-based fuel), thereby satisfying Section 526, according to the report.

Other major findings included:
– When coal was the sole feedstock, the CO2 footprint was the largest and required the most capture.
– Increasing percentages of biomass in the solid feed generally resulted in lower CO2 footprints and smaller amounts of required capture.
– Torrefied wood offers advantages in blending with coal and lowering the CO2 footprint for the CBTL plant.
– Municipal solid waste and biomass (considered to be “nuisance plants” in areas where they are abundant) may be economically feasible for use as feedstocks.
– Feedstock preparation and feed system design are critical to the successful development of a large-scale CBTL project.
– Electricity generation and CO2 displacement credits from CBTL are significant contributors to lower GHG emissions. At a ratio of 30 percent biomass, emissions were 38 to 62 percent below the baseline; with 10 percent biomass, 13 to 33 percent below the baseline; and with no biomass, 2 to 18 percent below the baseline.

On economic findings, the study found that on the rough order of magnitude, cost estimates using the techno-economic model for a 50,000 barrel-per-day CBTL plant with an entrained flow gasifier or transport gasifier showed average required selling price (RSP) of jet fuel ranged from approximately $134 to $170 per barrel, on a crude oil equivalent basis. Instances where coal was the sole feedstock resulted in the lowest RSP; increasing the percentages of raw biomass in the solid feed generally resulted in a higher RSP. Using torrefied rather than raw biomass resulted in a lower RSP, according to the report.

The project team concluded that blending various grades of coal with biomass presents a credible approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and producing alternative jet fuel.

The report also includes several factors that can improve commercial viability of CBTL technology, as well as recommendations for future study.

EPRI says with R&D, coal power can be clean without carbon capture

http://www.elp.com/articles/2015/11/epri-says-with-r-d-coal-power-can-be-clean-without-carbon-capture.html

Carbon capture with underground storage is considered by many to be the best option to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. But development and application of CCS systems face technology, policy and cost challenges.

The Electric Power Research Institute looked at several technologies available or in development that have the potential to enable power plants fueled solely by coal to reduce CO2 emissions through more efficient combustion and use of heat. The results of EPRI’s study have been published in a new white paper, Can Future Coal Power Plants Meet CO2 Emission Standards Without Carbon Capture and Storage?

EPRI’s paper analyzes current and anticipated U.S. and global CO2 emission standards for coal plants, identifies key challenges associated with CCS deployment, and provides detailed descriptions of coal-only technologies that are not ready for commercial deployment but that present opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions.

Today’s most efficient coal-fired plants are the ultra-supercritical plants that produce steam at high temperature (above 593 degrees C or 1,100 degrees F) and emit about 800 kg (1,760 pounds) CO2/MWh. EPRI looked at several technology options for increasing the thermal efficiency of the processes for generating electricity with coal, including:

· Rankine cycles (used by most of today’s coal plants) with higher steam temperatures;
· Combined heat and power applications (also known as cogeneration); and
· Coal gasification integrated with one of four systems — combined cycles (gas turbine plants), supercritical CO2 Brayton cycles (which use the CO2 instead of water or steam as the working fluid), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), and “triple cycles” (a combination of combined cycles and SOFCs).

However, none of the options considered in EPRI’s analysis are currently commercially available, economically viable, and suitable for broad deployment.

National R&D programs in the United States and elsewhere are making progress, but additional public-private R&D investment is needed to accelerate the deployment of many of these technologies.

“It’s critically important for the electric power industry to have as many generation technology and fuel options as possible,” said EPRI Vice President of Generation Tom Alley. “Reducing emissions will be one of the key drivers as the industry makes decisions about existing assets and about the designs and fuels used in the next generation of power plants. EPRI research like this can be invaluable in informing those decisions.”

Could Fuel Cells Solve the Emissions Problem for Coal Plants?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Could-Fuel-Cells-Solve-the-Emissions-Problem-for-Coal-Plants

With a little extra engineering work, some researchers believe fuel cells could become one of the most affordable ways for coal plants to keep their doors open as pollution regulations tighten.

The Department of Energy selected FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCE) last week as one of eight funding recipients to pilot low-cost carbon dioxide capture and compression technologies. The $23.7 million project (with $15 million coming from the DOE and $8.7 million from FCE) will see a 2-megawatt fuel cell deployed at a coal-fired power plant designed to capture about 60 tons of CO2 per day, while simultaneously producing about 40,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day.

This first-of-its-kind application is a modification to FCE’s existing Direct FuelCell technology, which the company says has already generated more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Researchers have been exploring the use of fuel cells for carbon capture since the early 1990s, but only recently has the technology declined enough in cost to be seriously considered as a solution.

Carbon capture only works with a molten carbonate fuel cell, a chemistry that relies on CO2 to operate. Flue gas from a coal plant contains 5 percent to 15 percent CO2, with the remainder made up largely of nitrogen, as well as other gases. In FCE’s application, the flue gas is routed into the fuel cell at one electrode, where the cell selectively takes up the CO2 and releases it in a concentrated stream at the other electrode. During this process, approximately 70 percent of the smog-producing nitrogen oxide is destroyed.

Once the CO2 is captured, it’s cooled and compressed utilizing standard refrigeration equipment. The purified carbon can then be sequestered or used for enhanced oil recovery.

FCE_carbon_capture_diagram_580_301

Today’s commercially available carbon-capture technology has proven to be extremely expensive and energy-intensive, nearly doubling the cost of electricity from a coal-fired power plant. FCE’s technology also increases the cost of electricity from coal-fired power plants, but the DOE believes that increase could be one-third or less.

“At an estimated cost of $40 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, these second generation technologies are showing they could potentially achieve a 30 percent increase in the cost of electricity, which is a significant drop compared to today’s commercially available technologies,” said José Figueroa, senior carbon capture project manager at the DOE, in an interview.

“The challenge of emissions reduction has always been to find a proven technology that’s affordable, and that’s reasonable to deploy, as opposed to spending billions,” said Arthur Bottone, CEO of FCE. “We’ve met that challenge with our solution.”

As states act to meet their compliance obligations under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, several stakeholders will seek new technologies to clean up their coal plants. FCE has only tested its carbon-capture technology in the lab to date, but the application is already the attracting interest from the power industry and legislators in states with a high reliance on coal, said Bottone.

Questions about efficiency, scale, climate impact and cost

FCE is currently evaluating multiple sites for the DOE-supported pilot with interested utility and independent power producers, and it expects to announce the site selection this fall.

One of the selection criteria is that there needs to be a nearby supply of natural gas to power the fuel cell. Molten carbonate fuel cells take in CO2, but still need a fuel source to operate.

The chiller used to condense CO2 also needs a power source. To meet that demand, the system is outfitted with a 2.8-megawatt fuel cell, which the chiller brings down to around 2 megawatts of actual power output.

Even with these extra steps, Bottone said the fuel cell application is much more efficient than other carbon-capture technologies. Rather than drain productivity at the power plant, FCE’s technology generates additional power — and revenue — in exchange for the energy it consumes.

“This is a power generation device that concentrates CO2 at the same time. It’s a completely different thought process, versus a device that’s doing nothing but capturing CO2,” he said. “We’re multitasking on the same asset as compared to a different way of doing it, which would only be a cost and not necessarily a benefit.”

This dual use makes the project easily financeable by private capital, because the electricity generated by the fuel cell creates a reliable revenue stream, Bottone added. Selling the purified CO2 for use in other applications like enhanced oil recovery would create additional revenue, although FCE didn’t factor those sales into its financial modeling.

Another benefit is that the technology is modular, so it can be scaled up incrementally as funding becomes available.

FCE sees the DOE-supported pilot as the first phase of a much larger project. In the second phase, once the application engineering is established, FCE will seek private capital to install 11 additional fuel-cell power plants. This 25-megawatt system is expected to capture a total of 700 tons of carbon dioxide per day, while generating about 648,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day.

At a 500-megawatt coal plant, 25 megawatts of fuel cells would reduce emissions by between 5 percent and 6 percent, said Bottone. Under the Clean Power Plan, emissions have to fall by roughly 3 percent over a 10-year period. So by installing FCE’s technology in phases, a coal-plant operator could meet the 32 percent overall emissions reduction target in a few years, while adding about 100 megawatts of power generation to its site.

“On paper, it’s a massive market opportunity,” said Bottone. “The question is how fast we can go.”

“We think that given the significant assurance of the technology we’ve developed for other businesses, we can go pretty quick, not to mention the fact that some of these utility customers and others are already our customers,” he added. “So the business model, and the confidence in us, frankly, is already there.”

But several questions remain. For one thing, while the system captures CO2 from the natural gas fed into the fuel cell, as well as from the coal plant itself, there are still concerns about the net climate benefit because of the emissions associated with natural gas production.

There are similar concerns with enhanced oil recovery. Pumping CO2 underground could help unlock new oil resources, and the CO2 could then be sequestered underground once the reservoir is depleted. But the net benefit is unclear, since the carbon sequestration would be offset by the continued use of oil. Plus, there’s the added complexity of getting the CO2 to the oil well to begin with.

Another issue is that flue gas from a coal plant contains pollutants, such as sulfur and chlorine, that could degrade the fuel-cell stack over time. How much FCE’s application ultimately costs will depend on how much the coal plant exhaust has to be cleaned up before it enters the cell.

“A coal-fired power plant has a lot of environmental control systems to meet environmental regulations, so those emissions are very low. But fuel cells are still sensitive to many contaminants, and so the flue gas would have to go through a polishing step to get it to even lower contaminant levels before getting to the fuel cell,” said Figueroa.

Lab tests to date show that the fuel cell sees little degradation using a simulated polished gas, but more testing is needed to see how the fuel cell performs in real world conditions.

“Understand this technology is still at a small scale,” said Figueroa. “Conceptual cost estimates, versus what it will look like at a 500-megawatt scale, with all of the flue gas that needs to be processed at that level, can differ.”

“There’s a lot that can still happen as you scale up and that’s why they’re performing more research, and that takes time,” he said.

Hong Kong’s CLP, HK Electric could be victims of Norwegian fund sell-off

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1817770/hong-kongs-clp-hk-electric-could-be-victims-norwegian-fund-sell

Power companies CLP and HK Electric could be the innocent victims of a decision by Norway’s parliament to sell off coal investments in the country’s US$880 billion sovereign wealth fund.

According to new rules approved by the Norwegian parliament’s finance committee on Friday, the Government Pension Fund Global – also known as the oil fund because of its funding from oil and gas production – will sell stakes in companies that get at least 30 per cent of their revenue from coal mining or burning fossil fuels or ongoing projects that surpass the 30 per cent threshold.

The measures are to be implemented by January 1, 2016.

The move was welcomed by the country’s lawmakers and environmental groups who estimate the fund’s investments in coal could be more than US$11 billion. It was not immediately known how much of these investments would be affected.

Climate change is one of three themes that Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the pension fund’s assets, adopts in its investment outlook.

“Coal is by far the biggest source of greenhouse gases, so this is a big victory for the climate,” said committee member Torstein Tvedt Solberg of the opposition Labour party.

The fund has divested from 114 companies in the past three years, including 14 companies in the coal mining sector last year. The fund’s coal mining assets totalled 493 million kroner (HK$486 million) at the end of the first quarter, down from 805 million in December, according to its first-quarter report.

Environmental group Greenpeace expects four companies in Hong Kong and 12 mainland firms to be among 122 enterprises the Norwegian fund might sell its stakes in, potentially raising a combined HK$3.72 billion for the oil fund.

The impact from selling its coal-related investments in Chinese companies should be minimal to Hong Kong’s stock market, given the relatively small stakes involved. The fund’s holdings in Chinese stocks represents a paltry 1.86 per cent of April’s average daily turnover of HK$200 billion.

According to the non-governmental organisation’s estimate, the fund owns CLP shares worth about HK$1.4 billion. Its coal-fired plants represent 66 per cent of its overall power generating capacity.

The fund owns HK Electric shares worth HK$16 million. Its coal-fired plants account for 67 per cent of generation capacity.

Among the 12 mainland companies, the largest investments are in state-owned power producer China Resources Power Holdings and coal miner Shenhua Energy Group.

Coal costs Turkey €3.6 billion a year

AcidNews June 2015

A new study shows that the public heath costs of polluted air from existing coal-fired power plants in Turkey are up to €3.6 billion per year. A cost that will increase significantly over the next four years, if existing plans to double coal power capacity with another 80 plants are implemented.

Coal power generation makes a considerable contribution to the country’s already huge air pollution problem. More than 97% of the urban population in Turkey is exposed to unhealthy levels of particulate matter, which is the most harmful pollutant for health.

Medical experts in Turkey advocate a change in energy policies to reverse investment into coal. Dr. Bayazıt İlhan, President of the Central Council of Turkish Medical Association, says: “A large coal-fired power plant emits several thousand tons of hazardous air pollutants every year and has an average lifetime of at least 40 years. The plans for a massive increase in investment would mean that coal’s contribution to respiratory and cardiovascular disease would continue for decades. This unhealthy future has to be avoided. We would like to see the Turkish government detaching itself from this polluted and outmoded source of energy.”

Source: HEAL press release, 20 May 2015.

The entire report “The unpaid health bill, How coal power plants in Turkey make us sick” is available at www.env-health.org/unpaidhealthbill.

European coal and gas power on the way out

AcidNews June 2015

In a conference in mid-May organised in the run-up to the Paris climate negotiations in December 2015, gathering corporate executives from major power companies, Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of Engie, one of the world’s biggest power companies said that fossil fuel electricity generation indeed is on its way out in Europe.

The profitability of gas and coal power generation have deteriorated to the point that future growth is more likely to come in big emerging markets such as India and China. According to Mr Mestrallet, power companies have stopped investing in thermal power generation in Europe and instead are investing in renewables.

European power companies are adapting to a market in which renewables are more profitable. Furthermore these power companies often struggle with overcapacity and competition from the growth of subsidised renewables. However, European power companies continue to build big power plants in emerging countries: Brazil, Chile, Peru, the Middle East and Asia.

Most of the corporate executives claimed to take climate change seriously and thus wanted to see Europe as a zero emissions area in 2050, with companies such as Czech CEZ taking the lead.

Source: Financial Times, 21 May 2015