European coal and gas power on the way out
In a conference in mid-May organised in the run-up to the Paris climate negotiations in December 2015, gathering corporate executives from major power companies, Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of Engie, one of the world’s biggest power companies said that fossil fuel electricity generation indeed is on its way out in Europe.
The profitability of gas and coal power generation have deteriorated to the point that future growth is more likely to come in big emerging markets such as India and China. According to Mr Mestrallet, power companies have stopped investing in thermal power generation in Europe and instead are investing in renewables. European power companies are adapting to a market in which renewables are more profitable. Furthermore these power companies often struggle with overcapacity and competition from the growth of subsidised renewables. However, European power companies continue to build big power plants in emerging countries: Brazil, Chile, Peru, the Middle East and Asia.
Most of the corporate executives claimed to take climate change seriously and thus wanted to see Europe as a zero emissions area in 2050, with companies such as Czech CEZ taking the lead.
Source: Financial Times, 21 May 2015