Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears

Europe, with its smart cars, good public transportation, and high density, is often a beacon of hope for environmentally-conscious Americans. However, since coal remains a relatively cheap source of energy (at least in the short-term...), many European countries are turning to it as oil and gas prices rise, and concerns about energy stability and independence grow stronger.

Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears

Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent.

And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are expected to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades.

The fast-expanding developing economies of India and China, where coal remains a major fuel source for more than two billion people, have long been regarded as among the biggest challenges to reducing carbon emissions. But the return now to coal even in eco-conscious Europe is sowing real alarm among environmentalists who warn that it is setting the world on a disastrous trajectory that will make controlling global warming impossible.

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LinuxH4x0r9 years ago
I think you mean 41%
Instead of 14%?
Its "to 33 percent from 14 percent"
oops, guess I read it wrong...
PKM9 years ago
"“Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available."

Hello, burn ward?
Major burnage

(ahem)

I'm sure I read an article a while back saying Germany was the world leader in solar power because they have sensible economic incentives to solarise your house (ie guaranteed buy-back from the grid at a good rate even if mains power becomes cheaper) that mean an expensive photovoltaic array will pay for itself within a few years rather than decades.

I also vaguely remember reading, somewhere, that the amount of money the UK is planning to spend decommissioning nuclear power plants in the next 15 years would pay for a medium-sized PV installation for every household in England, but that may be misremembered. Anyone know more about the neear future of large-scale renewable developments (like that big CSP plant in Spain)?

(Also, Linuxhaxor, "to 33 percent from 14 percent. "- does that answer your question?)
You know if coal were to be burnt in a very clever manner we'd be able to use it as a better engery source, it's the fossil fuel that's the furthest from running out, making it a safer candidate for energy provision than oil or gas, cleaning the dirt hurled in to the atmosphere is a bigger challenge with coal but oil and gas present their own set of problems, that and with a clever initiative smally power stations could easily run on nice renewable peat, at least in our bit of europe... I think that fossil fuel plant should be phased out but that the necessary ones, that hold off demands should be made far more efficient and retrofittable with more green systems, any heat based plant could easily be converted to use steam from a massive solar reflector, geothermal sources, other fuels, Anywhere it can be done, I'm wondering if india has enough sun coverage to run a solar array for superheating steam or another material to heat steam and using that to power turbines. In Wales there's a mountain with a massive lake inside it, this reservoir is used to power the kettles at tea time for a good chunk of britain, I did a project based on it, the idea was that it was more like a giant battery, using cheaper engery at night when everyone was 'off' and pumping the water back up for times of serious demand... I'm suprised about Italy, having been there it's very hard to imagine them using as much electricity, during a large chunk of the year most of the country doesn't need heating, their buildings are much simpler and you almost never see anything even capable of guzzling gas outside the bar, inside on the other hand... I suppose the whole electro junk is catching up there, everyone drives a fiat 500 awd from the '70s or 80's and vegetation is rife, renewable energy being made in the south of italy seems possible, sunny enough for solar, plenty of wind in places, arable land, big empty bits...