Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation, commented to Vzglyad.ru on the prospects of coal generation in Russia and other countries.
During his visit to Moscow, the US President's Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry raised the topic of Russia's refusal from coal-fired power plants. However, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov pointed out that now it is impossible to completely abandon them, it can only be some kind of distant landmark.
It is rather strange on the part of the United States to offer Russia to abandon coal generation when it is widespread in the States themselves. Moreover, in America its share is higher than in Russia.
In his opinion, the United States will not be at the forefront of countries that will be the first to close coal-fired power plants in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will not become an example for other countries. Russia, however, is also unlikely to lead the global trend to abandon coal generation. Kondratiev considers it unlikely that by the 2040s-2050s, not only Russia, but also European countries, the United States and China, in reality, will abandon coal-fired power plants.
“In Russia, the share of coal-fired generation is not that large - about 12.5% of the total electricity generation. In the USA the share is higher than in Russia - 18-20%. For several decades, coal has generally been the main fuel for American electricity. And only after the shale revolution, natural gas began to regain ground and came to the fore. But coal has still retained a significant position in the central states and in the south of the country,” says Sergei Kondratiev, deputy head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation.
So far, only one Great Britain has succeeded. “De facto, London has been moving towards this for several decades, having started converting thermal generation to gas back in the 80s of the last century. Through the development of renewable energy, including the construction of offshore wind farms, the UK has successfully emerged from the coal era. But this is rather an exception to the rule,” Kondratiev says.
In Western Europe, for example, in France and Germany, coal-fired generation is still preserved, despite a tough climate agenda and an increase in the cost of quotas for greenhouse gas emissions. In Poland, the process of reducing coal generation has not even begun. The Chinese talk about a decrease in the share of coal, but their plans to maintain high economic rates cannot be fulfilled without an increase in electricity consumption, which will be expressed in an increase in coal capacities, the expert said.
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