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12 May 2020

Interactive chart: COVID-19 will drive a switch from coal to gas generation

AFRY has conducted an in-depth, pan-European analysis to uncover how COVID-19 will change power sector emissions and generation patterns.

The results of this analysis are now available in our new interactive chart.

Explore the different drivers in each market by selecting a country on the map:


Overall, COVID-19 could cause the emissions from the power sector to decrease by approximately 9% overall in Europe in 2021 compared to a pre-COVID-19 outlook caused by:

  • a decrease in the demand hence reducing the need of generation from the power sector; and
  • coal-to-gas switch due to a substantial drop in gas prices all over Europe making the available gas power plants cheaper to run than the local coal power plants.

Germany alone accounts for nearly 1/3 of the total drop.

Meanwhile Portugal and Bulgaria show the largest % drop in emissions due to significantly less coal/lignite generation and more imported generation from their neighbours as a result of the changes in wholesale price between markets. Indeed, Bulgaria is expected to flip from a net exporter to a net importer of electricity in 2021.

A few countries buck the trend (noticeably Belgium and Austria) – their power sector emissions are set to rise because of changes in interconnector flows with their power-hungry neighbours.

Due to the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 we are currently offering non-subscribing clients the opportunity to access our short-to-medium term projections.

For more information, download the flyerexternal link, opens in new window and get in touch with Mostyn Brown or your local AFRY Management Consulting contact.

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