Wind power progresses in Northern Europe, slash coal use

Scientific American recently published an article on how coal and gas fired plants are closing in Northern Europe as wind power progresses and cut electricity prices. This trend has repercussions in Baltic countries.

Here is an extract of the article :

Wind power is blowing gas and coal-fired turbines out of business in the Nordic countries, and the effects will be felt across the Baltic region as the renewable glut erodes utility margins for thermal power stations.

Fossil power plants in Finland and Denmark act as swing-producers, helping to meet demand when hydropower production in Norway and Sweden falls due to dry weather.

The arrival of wind power on a large scale has made this role less relevant and has pushed electricity prices down, eroding profitability of fossil power stations.

(…) Naturkraft, a joint venture between Norway’s Statoil and Statkraft [STATKF.UL], said this month it would put its 420 megawatt (MW) Kaarstoe gas-fired power plant in “cold reserve” from January.

Mothballing the 2 billion crowns ($302 million) plant, which had operated for only a few days per year, would help to save 50-80 million crowns per year, Naturkraft’s chief executive John Terje Staveland told Reuters.

Earlier this year, Finnish utility Fortum shut its 695 MW Inkoo coal-fire power plant.

Sweden’s Vattenfall [VATN.UL] said in May it will shut down its 409 MW coal-fired Fyn power plant in Denmark from May 2016.

If only the European Union had some ambitions for its 2030 goals, we would see this trend not only continue but amplify.


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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