Last November 20 became the first day where burning coal is no longer part of the options in electricity production in Portugal. This means the end of coal for the Portuguese country and one more step towards decarbonisation.
In the first place, the Pego Thermoelectric Plant was scheduled to operate until the 30th of this month, but the end of coal stocks arrived earlier than expected and They have thus anticipated a plan they had set for 2030.
In Spain, the As Pontes power plant has been reactivated
Between 2008 and 2019, the Centro do Pego represented, on average, annually, 4% of the national total greenhouse gas emissions, which in absolute terms, the annual average was 4.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to the Portuguese platform ZERO.
With the disconnection of all coal plants in Portugal, the country is expected to register a drop in CO₂ emissions since, today, Portuguese energy is produced through the combined cycle between natural gas and renewable energies, which translates into emissions of just over a third for every unit of electricity produced compared to coal.
Since, despite the fact that natural gas produces CO₂, due to the high proportion of hydrogen-carbon in its molecules, its emissions are 40% or 50% lower than those of coal.
Instead, in Spain It has been reactivated the As Pontes power plant after 55 days since its closure last July. The plant had planned its decommissioning since the closure in 2019 but that has re-energized the grid on several occasionss since then: in January, when the cold and snowy storm Filomena triggered electricity consumption in Spain; the first week of July, and now that there has been a drop in temperatures.
At COP26 an agreement was signed to eliminate coal
During the past Climate Summit COP26 it was reached agreement to cut coal as a source of energy in what was a joint declaration where they commit to end international public support for the fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022 and prioritize support for the clean energy transition.
Although not all countries supported this decision. In fact, Australia, India, China and the United States they are unchecked and will continue to finance coal.
Switzerland, Austria or Belgium are some of the countries that have already eliminated coal as a power source while others, such as Germany, assure that they will continue to bet for using coal.
The burning of this mineral is one of the most polluting sources and, despite the fact that in 2020, due to the pandemic, emissions fell by 5.4%, a report, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, foresees a new 4.9% increase for this year, and it is estimated that up to 36,400 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted will be reached.