Serbia has the largest production of electricity from coal per capita in Europe

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The harmful effects of coal on our planet and us are multiple: from its contribution to climate change due to the release of greenhouse gases during combustion to air pollution, which has unforeseeable negative consequences for human health. Due to all that, a huge number of countries in the world are trying to leave this energy source. For now, Serbia is not among them.
According to the calculations of Oxford’s scientific online publication Our World in Data, the average inhabitant of our country consumes about four times more electricity from coal per year than the European average.
In 2020, 3654 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of per capita produced in our country originated from coal-fired power plants. That is about three times more “dirty” kilowatt-hours produced than the average inhabitant of the world (1121 kWh) and as much as 456 times more than the average in Belgium (8 kWh), says Jelena Kozbašić.
The share of renewable sources in the production of electricity per capita during the year in our country is estimated at 1567 kWh.
It is additionally worrying that the dominant type of coal used in Serbia is low-calorie lignite, which is considered to be coal of the lowest quality.
Poland is the country of the European Union that uses coal the most, but its annual per capita share of coal in electricity production is better than ours and amounts to 2904 kWh.
Neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina is in an equally unenviable situation regarding the decarbonization of electricity production, where 3278 kWh per capita was generated from coal last year. That is twice as much as in Germany (1602 kWh).
The country that is quite advanced in the energy transition in Europe is Sweden, and this is reflected in the production of electricity: the average Swede in 2020 consumed as much as 338 times more electricity from renewable sources (11143 kWh) than from coal (33 kWh).
Residents of Austria also mostly consume electricity of green origin, ie about 6116 kWh per year compared to 80 kWh from coal. The situation is similar in Denmark and France.
According to the annual report of the Serbian Energy Agency, in 2020, the total production of electricity was 35.54 TWh, of which coal-fired thermal power plants produced 68.6 percent. Serbia thus ranked as the fourth country in the world in terms of the percentage of coal in electricity production. Ahead of us are only India, South Africa and Mongolia, while approximately the same results were achieved by Poland and Kazakhstan.
Our country has great potential for using solar and wind energy. If we focus on expanding these capacities, instead of building new coal-fired power plants, we could get significantly closer to developed countries when it comes to the use of renewable energy sources.
Serbia should implement a turn from fossil fuels for the sake of a more efficient fight against climate change and the preservation of the environment and the lives of citizens. Last year’s research of the European Environment Agency on the consequences of environmental pollution on health marked our country as one of the black spots in Europe, Danas reports.