Germany’s decision is a continuation of long-term trends in the Western European energy market. While some EU countries are taking the political decision to reduce their reliance on coal, this does not mean that all regions around the world are doing the same. In fact, as has been shown by recent IEA forecasts, coal use is actually growing in many countries.
Coal use in Europe presents a tale of two halves. While western Europe is reducing its coal use, most countries in Eastern Europe are still reliant on the fuel, with new coal power plants under construction in Poland, Greece and in the Balkans.
Each country will determine the energy mix that best supports their socio-economic development, whilst meeting climate priorities. Recognising this, many countries including China, India, Japan and Pakistan have identified a role for high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal-based power generation in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Factors including high economic growth, demographic changes and industrial development mean that coal will continue to drive socio-economic development in many parts the world, particularly across Southeast Asia where coal use is expected to grow by 120% through to 2040.