Friday 8 December, 1115 – 1230
The recent announcement from Europe’s energy utilities that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020 signals an overhaul in the future of energy generation across the region. Even more ambitious, the industry has committed to provide 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2050. However, the mining and use of coal has important socio-economic implications across Europe, including in Greece, Germany and Poland, making the restriction or phase-out of its use problematic. Additionally, the electrification of heat and transport will increase electricity demand and change consumption patterns, presenting important opportunities and challenges for decarbonization. Are the European energy utilities likely to be able to meet their commitments? How will this change the European energy mix and outlook? What does this mean for relations with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey?