Coal is a health problem

Coal is the most polluting of all energy sources, causing a number of debilitating conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, and chronic lung disease, which translates to additional costs on health systems and from lost working days, and worse still: shortens people’s lives.

Select a health impact to see how bad the impact of Europe’s coal plants was in your country.

The coal companies making us sick

Four of the ten most toxic companies have their main coal plants in Germany: RWE, EPH, Uniper and Steag. This is because Germany burns more coal than any other country in Europe. Three of the ‘toxic 10’ are in Poland: PGE, ENEA and ZE PAK. The final three are ČEZ in the Czech Republic, Endesa in Spain, and Bulgarian Energy Holding in Bulgaria.

Select a health impact to see how bad the impact of Europe’s coal companies was in your country.

Health impacts caused by coal power plants in Europe (2016, modelled)
Health impacts caused by coal companies in Europe (2016, modelled)
Coal power is a significant source of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions
Development of coal capacity in Europe - by region
Development of coal capacity in Europe - by country
Development of coal capacity in Europe - by company
Development of the electricity mix in Austria
Development of the electricity mix in Belgium
Development of the electricity mix in Bulgaria
Development of the electricity mix in Croatia
Development of the electricity mix in the Czech Republic
Development of the electricity mix in Cyprus
Development of the electricity mix in Denmark
Development of the electricity mix in Estonia
Development of the electricity mix in Finland
Development of the electricity mix in France
Development of the electricity mix in Germany
Development of the electricity mix in Greece
Development of the electricity mix in Hungary
Development of the electricity mix in Ireland
Development of the electricity mix in Italy
Development of the electricity mix in Latvia
Development of the electricity mix in Lithuania
Development of the electricity mix in Luxemburg
Development of the electricity mix in Malta
Development of the electricity mix in Netherland
Development of the electricity mix in Poland
Development of the electricity mix in Portugal
Development of the electricity mix in Romania
Development of the electricity mix in Slovakia
Development of the electricity mix in Slovenia
Development of the electricity mix in Spain
Development of the electricity mix in Sweden
Development of the electricity mix in the United Kingdom
Development of the electricity mix in the EU
CO2 emissions in European Union by company (2018)
New coal projects under development in Europe split by region
New coal projects under development in Europe split by planning status
Capacity covered by national coal phase-out commitments and announced to retire by 2030 in Europe

Last updated on 18 October 2019

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Sources

Data sources and methodology

Plant parameters:

Every data point at unit level has been individually researched and sourced. Types of sources include official plant lists of government bodies, permits, company websites, company reports, news articles, and tenders. In a few cases utilities or authorities were called directly or on-site visits were undertaken.

New coal project data comes from the Global Coal Plant Tracker.

Emissions data (EU only):

CO2 emissions:

EU Emissions Trading System data from the European Union Transaction Log (EUTL)

Greenhouse gas emissions (by sector):

National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism, data provided by European Environmental Agency; coal emissions from power sector are highlighted as a subset of the energy sector, subset is sourced from EU Emissions Trading System data.

Pollutants:

EU and Serbia: Reported data on large combustion plants covered by Directive 2001/80/EC ( Large Combustion Plants Directive – LCPD ) and European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)

Western Balkans: Data for Western Balkan plants (except Serbia) was gathered manually from different sources. For more information contact us.

Atmospheric Modelling:

Pollutant concentrations are modelled with the European Commission approved Open Source EMEP/MSC-W chemical transport model. We rely on input data provided by EMEP/MSC-W, ECMWF and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Health data and associated economic impacts:

The methodology for modelling the health impacts and associated costs of coal pollution is spelled out in the report “Last Gasp: The coal companies making Europe sick”. Data on health impacts in the EU comes from that same report. Health impact data for the Western Balkan countries is taken from “Chronic coal pollution: EU action on the Western Balkans will improve health and economies across Europe”.

Power generation:

Data on power generated from coal and other sources is taken from the report “The European Power Sector in 2018: A tale of two types of coal” by Agora Energiewende and Sandbag.

Download European Coal Plant Database

This is the raw data on which these tools have been built. It is the most comprehensive, up-to-date set of data on the entire European coal power plant fleet, covering all EU-28, Western Balkans, and Turkey. All information comes from a combination of official sources and national campaign groups and is provided under an open source “share alike” license. The datatool is updated on a continual basis.

Download Database

Disclaimer

Europe Beyond Coal does its best to deliver a high quality of the Database and to verify that the data contained therein have been selected on the basis of sound judgement. It is based on all relevant data known of by the collaborators of Europe Beyond Coal, but may not be exhaustive, and there may exist further or updated information that they were not aware of. Europe Beyond Coal makes no warranties, and shall not be liable for any damage that may result from errors or omissions in the Database.