October 8, 2019
◼ Photovoltaics instead of coal
Solar power could replace coal-fired power plants
Today coal - tomorrow sun! Researchers at the Joint Research Center, an institution of the European Commission, have presented a remarkable vision in a study: Where coal is mined today, more energy could be generated by solar power than ever before. The scientists see the potential at 874 terawatt hours - exactly the production volume with which all coal-fired power plants in Europe could be replaced. With the help of satellite data, the researchers have determined that even a occupancy rate of only three percent of the suitable area is sufficient to outperform the 111 coal-fired power plants currently located in the coal regions. If all suitable roof areas in the surrounding area are also used for this purpose, coal will become irrelevant in Europe.
Admittedly, the loss of jobs would remain a drop of bitterness. The coal industry creates about 240,000 jobs in Europe. Although the installation, operation, maintenance and monitoring of the panels would create around 185,000 jobs, many jobs would still be lost if this project were implemented. Dr. Gerhard Rimpler: "It would be up to politicians to create jobs with a promising future through regional structural measures".
Source: Joint Research Centers