Transformation of energy balances with dominant coal consumption in European economies and Turkey in the years 1990–2017

Keywords: energy balance, European economies, links between energy policy and economy


Research background: Energy policy is closely linked to economic development. Therefore, its optimization is an important issue especially in the contemporary European environmental conditions.  EU regulations enforce a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the abandonment of non-renewable energy resources. Instead, they promote renewable energy sources. In this way, new legal and environmental circumstances are becoming the main reason for the transformation of energy balances, which is a real economic and technological challenge. This transformation requires a strategic and effective approach, especially in those countries which until now have used mainly hard coal in the energy sector.

Purpose of the article: According to above justification, the main purpose of the article is to identify the strategies for the transformation of energy balances that were implemented in the years 1990–2017 by chosen European countries and Turkey.

Methods: The study period covers the years 1990–2017, and the subject of the research at first applies to all European countries, and then to 7 countries selected due to their high share of bituminous coal in energy balance in the first year of the analysis, treated as the initial point of transformation (1990). As a result of this selection, 6 EU members and Turkey with the largest share of coal in energy production in the year 1990 are examined. Particularly, an analysis of the trends in their energy balances in the years 1990–2017 is conducted. The research uses data on non-renewable energy consumption and renewable energy resources and the total energy consumption. The research methodology includes: analysis of the structure and dynamics, evaluation of trends and comparative analysis and presentation of development strategies. At the end of the article, a comparative analysis is carried out, the economic consequences of identified changes are assessed, and recommendations are formulated aimed at optimizing the structure of the energy balance in the future.

Findings & Value added: Generally, there are four theoretical and empirical patterns of transformation strategies of energy balances with dominant coal consumption: 1) using other non-renewable energy resources; 2) replacing non-renewable energy resources with renewable ones; 3) using nuclear energy instead of coal; 4) increasing coal consumption as available and efficient energy resource. It was found that the examined countries implement mainly the strategy in which the decreasing share of coal is made up for by an increasing share of gas. Additionally, we can observe an increase in the share of nuclear energy in France, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. In Spain and Germany, despite the use of nuclear power plants for the production of energy, the share of nuclear energy in the energy balances has systematically decreased in time. In all analyzed countries, we can also observe an increasing share of renewable sources in energy balances, however, this growth is very slow.


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How to Cite
Jonek-Kowalska , I. (2019). Transformation of energy balances with dominant coal consumption in European economies and Turkey in the years 1990–2017. Oeconomia Copernicana, 10(4), 627-647.