Utilities

Heating The Planet Or Heating The People!

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<p>Gas shortages and soaring gas prices have left many countries with the choice of power cuts and no heating this winter or resorting to sources like #Coal power. This, of course, conflicts with pledges Governments made at #COP26 this year.</p><p>Many countries have decided to fire up old coal power generating plants. Faced with less power generation, most of us would have no hesitation in switching to a brown option this winter.&nbsp; Of course reverting back to coal, will increase the temperature of the planet and move us nearer to the critical tipping point, but in the here and now, it is human nature that heating our homes comes first!!&nbsp; I wonder how Maslow would have ranked this dilemma in his hierarchy of needs?</p><p>However, coal generators are &ldquo;haemorrhaging cash&rdquo; because they cannot compete with cheap renewables and gas in the longer term. According to reports by Carbon Tracker, the think-tank that compiled the report. &ldquo;Unless there are dramatic changes, then these losses could be sustained.&rdquo;</p><p>Four in five of Europe&rsquo;s coal-fired power plants are unprofitable, with the potential for &euro;6.6bn of losses in total for their owners this year.</p><p>In mainland Europe, coal-fired power has been hit by the rising price of EU carbon credits &mdash; allowances that industries must buy if their CO2 emissions are above a certain level. The cost of these credits has tripled since 2017 to more than &euro;25 per tonne of CO2.</p><p>Coal is one of the most significant contributors to climate change; during the COP26 climate summit, around 40 countries pledged to shift away from coal. Although some of the world&rsquo;s biggest coal-dependent countries did not sign up, this was considered a massive move in the right direction. Post COP26, many uplifting impressive statements were made, such as &ldquo;The world is moving in the right direction, standing ready to seal coal&rsquo;s fate and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future that is powered by clean energy.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Across Europe, the cost of gas has increased to its highest level on record; many countries have considerably depleted their gas reserves and are now switching back to using coal for electricity generation.</p><p>The UK government striving the be world leaders pledged to completely phase out coal power by 2024, which seems highly unlikely considering that in 2022 they will be reverting to coal. When will politicians stop making sweeping promises without considering if these promises are achievable or at least making plans to ensure they are viable?</p><p>#coalpower #climatechange #netzero #maslow</p>
KR Expert - Geoff Hobbs