Global Power Emissions Fell in 2019 as Coal’s Share Dipped
France’s electricity sector cut its carbon emissions by 6% last year as consumption fell while wind, solar and natural gas displaced coal-fired power generation.
The drop in domestic power consumption came as governments across Europe introduce policies to fight climate change by encouraging energy savings in a bid to curb pollution from burning fossil fuels. Record low gas prices, which have been pressured by mild winter temperatures, have also helped to squeeze coal’s share from power mixes across the continent, making gas more competitive than the dirtiest fossil fuel.
French power consumption fell by 0.5% last year, when excluding the impact of weather, to a 10-year low of 473 terawatt-hours as energy-efficiency measures and slower economic growth curbed demand, according to Reseau de Transport d’Electricite, the country’s grid operator.