Coal-Free Italy

Italy's Industry Minister Carlo Calenda has proposed a plan to phase out the country's coal power plants by 2025. This move is part of a broader strategy that will see 27 percent of gross overall energy consumption come from renewable sources by 2030.

To get to a coal-free Italy, the country's government is consulting Terna Group, the company that maintains the Italian power grid, on what infrastructure will be required to put this plan into action. The country's biggest utility, Enel, has already pledged that it won't construct any new coal-fired power plants going forward.

The new energy strategy will also see a greater effort to encourage Italians to transition to vehicles powered by alternative fuels. While the program is still under discussion, it's expected that the government will sign off on the proposal by the end of November.

End of the Road

The downsides to coal are well documented. As well as contributing to air pollution that kills a huge number of people every year, there's evidence that it's actually less cost-effective than renewable energy at this point.

With this in mind, many countries are already making moves to discontinue their coal power production. The Netherlands will close all of its coal power plants by 2030. France has an even more aggressive outlook, aiming to do so by 2023.

Meanwhile, India has closed 37 coal mines, and China is in the process of retiring older coal power plants and replacing them with facilities that produce less harmful emissions. Earlier this year, Great Britain went 24 hours without the need for coal-generated power–a good sign for its goal of ceasing its reliance on the fuel by 2025.

Coal certainly seems to be on its way out, and that's good news for anyone that appreciates clean air.

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