Coal is on its way out

Here is some news, that some might argue justifies the adjective historic:

Europe’s energy utilities have rung a death knell for coal, with a historic pledge that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020. National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future. “The debate about coal is over,” one industry insider told the Guardian. “This is the only way that we can go forward with decarbonisation. But it would be good to see a phase out of existing coal plants.”

No new coal plants after 2020. That is good news. There are still 3GW of coal plants under construction in the EU, however – and much, much more when looking at it globally – and there’s no word on closures of existing plants.
But the economics seem to be clear. This is an overdue signal. The risk of any hydrocarbon investment these days becoming a stranded asset is growing by the day.