Author: Vlad Surdea-Hernea
This paper analyses the different strategies employed by EU member states regarding the upcoming coal phase-out. The main perspective adopted is that of Romania as a laggard state in this process, trying to see whether the experience of other states such as Germany or Poland could be used to better optimise the internal phase-out strategy. By following historical trends, as well as the mainstream economic logic of the energy transition, this paper shows that while Romania would be able to implement a coal phase-out in the near future, the process would need to be co-created with all the involved stakeholders, from trade unions to representatives of the new renewable industries.
coal phase-out, climate change, European Green Deal, energy policy
To cite this article:
Vlad Surdea-Hernea (2021), ALAS, I MUST BID YOU ADIEU: Understanding coal phase-out strategies in the
European Union from Romania’s perspective, Europuls Policy Journal, 1:1, p. 103-117
Alter, K. J., & Steinberg, D. (2007). The theory and reality of the European Coal and Steel Community.
Making History: European Integration and Institutional Change at Fifty, (Eds.) Meunier, Sophie,
McNamara, Kathleen R, 8, 89–104.
Andrew, B. (2008). Market failure, government failure and externalities in climate change mitigation:
The case for a carbon tax. Public Administration and Development: The International Journal of
Management Research and Practice, 28(5), 393–401.
Anke, C.-P., Hobbie, H., Schreiber, S., & Möst, D. (2020). Coal phase-outs and carbon prices:
Interactions between EU emission trading and national carbon mitigation policies. Energy Policy, 144,
Bankwatch Romania. (2020). Financing a Just Transition in Gorj, Romania.
Bistline, J. E. T., & Blanford, G. J. (2021). The Role of the Power Sector in Net-Zero Energy Systems.
Energy and Climate Change, 100045.
Bódis, K., Kougias, I., Taylor, N., & Jäger-Waldau, A. (2019). Solar photovoltaic electricity generation:
A lifeline for the european coal regions in transition. Sustainability, 11(13), 3703.
Boscán, L. R. (2020). European Union retail electricity markets in the Green Transition: The quest for
adequate design. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 9(1), e359.
Boscq, A. (2021). Will Hydrogen Take up Natural Gas’ Role in the Energy Mix?
Brauers, H., & Oei, P.-Y. (2020). The political economy of coal in Poland: Drivers and barriers for a
shift away from fossil fuels. Energy Policy, 144, 111621.
Eckert, E., & Kovalevska, O. (2021). Sustainability in the European Union: Analyzing the Discourse of
the European Green Deal. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 14(2), 80.
Ember climate. (2021). Halfway there.
Energy Policy Group. (2020). Accelerated lignite exit in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.
Energy Policy Group. (2021). The sustainable transition of Gorj County. https://www.enpg.ro/wp-
European Climate Law, (2021).
The European Green Deal, (2019) (testimony of European Commission). https://eur-
European Commission. (2021). EU Emissions Trading System.
European Environment Agency. (2021). Greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in
European Union Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), (2020).
Fit for 55—Delivering the EGD, (2021). https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-
Frondel, M., Kambeck, R., & Schmidt, C. M. (2007). Hard coal subsidies: A never-ending story? Energy
Policy, 35(7), 3807–3814.
Gerbelová, H., Spisto, A., & Giaccaria, S. (2021). Regional Energy Transition: An Analytical Approach
Applied to the Slovakian Coal Region. Energies, 14(1), 110.
International Energy Agency. (2020). Coal share in power generation.
Jägemann, C., Fürsch, M., Hagspiel, S., & Nagl, S. (2013). Decarbonizing Europe’s power sector by
2050—Analyzing the economic implications of alternative decarbonization pathways. Energy
Economics, 40, 622–636.
Jakob, M., Steckel, J. C., Jotzo, F., Sovacool, B. K., Cornelsen, L., Chandra, R., Edenhofer, O., Holden,
C., Löschel, A., & Nace, T. (2020). The future of coal in a carbon-constrained climate. Nature Climate
Change, 10(8), 704–707.
Kalkuhl, M., Steckel, J. C., Montrone, L., Jakob, M., Peters, J., & Edenhofer, O. (2019). Successful coal
phase-out requires new models of development. Nature Energy, 4(11), 897–900.
Kapetaki, Z., & Ruiz, P. (2020). Clean energy technologies in coal regions: Opportunities for jobs and
Keles, D., & Yilmaz, H. Ü. (2020). Decarbonisation through coal phase-out in Germany and Europe—
Impact on Emissions, electricity prices and power production. Energy Policy, 141, 111472.
Moomaw, W., Burgherr, P., Heath, G., Lenzen, M., Nyboer, J., & Verbruggen, A. (2011). Annex II:
methodology. IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, 982.
Pao-Yu, O., Brauers, H., Herpich, P., Hirschhausen, C. von, Prahl, A., Wehnert, T., Bierwirth, A.,
Fischedick, M., Kurwan, J., & Mersmann, F. (2019). Phasing out coal in the German energy sector:
interdependencies, challenges and potential solutions.
Parry, I. (2020). Increasing carbon pricing in the EU: Evaluating the options. European Economic
Review, 121, 103341.
Pietzcker, R. C., Osorio, S., & Rodrigues, R. (2021). Tightening EU ETS targets in line with the
European Green Deal: Impacts on the decarbonization of the EU power sector. Applied Energy, 293,
PowerTech eV, V. G. B. (2015). Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE 2015).
Rentier, G., Lelieveldt, H., & Kramer, G. J. (2019). Varieties of coal-fired power phase-out across
Europe. Energy Policy, 132, 620–632.
Siddi, M. (2020). The European Green Deal: Assessing its current state and future implementation.
Skjærseth, J. B. (2021). Towards a European Green Deal: The evolution of EU climate and energy
policy mixes. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 21(1), 25–41.
Surdea-Hernea, V. (2021, July 15). Whose carbon price is it anyway? Strengthening carbon markets in
the European Union through Fit for 55. A Path for Europe (PFEU).
Zhu, K., Victoria, M., Brown, T., Andresen, G. B., & Greiner, M. (2019). Impact of CO2 prices on the
design of a highly decarbonised coupled electricity and heating system in Europe. Applied Energy,