Year-on-year, coal generation across Europe fell by 12%, whilst gas increased by 20%.
Half of this switch happened in the UK, as many coal plants permanently closed and a higher carbon price took effect.
Switches from coal to gas also happened in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Greece, in part from a temporary fall in gas price during 2016.
‘The UK is leading by example in Europe, with by far the biggest drop in coal usage. This bodes well for the UK’s official coal phaseout, which aims to take coal entirely out of UK energy generation by 2025.
‘But the UK is also undergoing the biggest coal-to-gas switch in Europe, which presents two risks. First, that in outgrowing one fossil fuel, we lock ourselves into another. Secondly, that other European countries follow suit.’
ClientEarth energy lawyer