VanHecke, Karel. (2007) Coal power in the European Union. Egmont European Affairs Working Paper, 2007. [Working Paper]
Today most EU Member States rely on (mostly imported) coal to achieve their energy requirements. Various countries have confirmed that coal power will continue to be part of their energy mix. Moreover, the European Union’s energy security concerns have shed new light on the use of coal power in the near future. Coal indeed presents attractive advantages in today’s energy landscape. Coal reserves are vast and widely distributed throughout the world whilst the coal market is a well-functioning and relatively stable world market, particularly compared to oil and gas. Nonetheless, coal power has one crucial disadvantage. It is by far the most polluting solid fuel. Coal-fired power plants are responsible for approximately one-fourth of humanproduced carbon dioxide every year. In the light of the European Union’s ambitious fight against climate change, it is obvious that the future of coal power in the EU depends upon a possible shift towards lower levels of CO2 emissions and ultimately zero-emission power plants. The implementation of technological solutions seems to play a determining role in this respect.
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