Sweden has closed its last coal-fired power plant, making it the third European country to complete the phase-out of the fossil fuel.
Operations at Stockholm Exergi AB’s KVV6 plant at Värtaverket, which has supplied heat and electricity to Stockholm since 1989, stopped on 16 April.
Austria also recently closed its last coal-fired power plant, joining Belgium with its successful coal phase-out. Other European countries are expected to join the group in the coming years, including the UK, France, Portugal and Ireland.
Sweden had targeted 2022 to close all of its coal-fired power plants. “Today we know that we must stop using all fossil fuels, therefore the coal needs to be phased out and we do so several years before the original plan,” said Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi. “Since Stockholm was almost totally fossil-dependent 30-40 years ago, we have made enormous changes and now we are taking the step away from carbon dependence and continuing the journey towards an energy system entirely based on renewable and recycled energy.”
Other European countries set to phase out coal in the power sector include Slovakia, Greece and Italy. Discussions are currently underway in the Czech Republic, Spain and North Macedonia over when to exit coal. Germany intends to exit coal by 2038, according to its proposed coal exit law.