But Nuclear Remains The Continent's Dominant Power Source
The European electricity market saw a significant shift from coal to gas-fired generation in the third quarter of 2019, reversing a trend seen in the previous two years.
The latest report by energy market analyst EnAppSys showed that coal and lignite plants produced 95.8TWh of power in the three months to September 30 – 41% less than the 134.6TWh generated by gas plants. By contrast, coal/lignite produced 31% more power than gas plants in Q3 2018 and 37% more in the corresponding quarter in 2017.
This shift was attributed in part to significant changes in markets in Spain and Germany. In Spain, coal has been pushed almost entirely out the market by gas whilst Germany, traditionally a major consumer of coal and lignite for electricity generation, has seen significant reductions in levels of generation from these sources.
Renewables continued to provide a large share (35%) of overall power generation in Q3 2019 but growth has stalled in recent times, with renewable output declining 2% from levels seen in the corresponding quarters in 2017 and 2018.