Federico II coal plant, Cerano (Brindisi), Italy, 2014
Federico II, few kilometres from the city and the harbour of Brindisi, is the biggest thermal plant in Italy. Enel, the company owning the factory, expects to convert the plant to gas fuel and renewable technologies before 2025.
It's the worst climate polluting power station in Italy.
In Brindisi, the farms in the area are highly damaged by the impact of the coal plant. Coal ashes and leakage transformed the local agriculture. A 12 km long conveyor belt links the plant to the port, where the coal arrives by sea from other countries, and cross a big farming area, appreciated once as an high quality artichokes cultivation area.
In La Spezia, especially during the twentieth century, most of the gulf was converted in commercial harbor and shipyards. The city hosts one of the most important naval base of the italian navy.
Situated in an highly populated coastline area, Vado Ligure was the first case in Italy (and one of the few worldwide) that a coal plant was forced to close for the direct correlation to public health.
Endless lignite surface mines makes entire towns to be demolished and built in other areas.
Big coal plants are disseminated in the area, including one of the most impactful plant in Europe, Neurath. One of the plant chimneys is taller than the famous gothic catedral of Köln, one of the tallest church ever built.
The harbour of Hamburg welcomes every year 8 milion tons of coal, delivered by sea, on huge cargo ships.
In Berlin it may happen that walking trough Treptower Park, one of the main green area of the capital city, along the Spree river, you can recognise the Klingenberg coal-fired power stations, that, together with a ring of other power plants around the city, produces electricity and heating for the local population and industry.
In 2019, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the national electricity grid did not burn any coal for a whole week. The coronavirus pandemic determined another acceleration to the general decarbonisation process, due to the lower request of energy during the partial closures of the economic activities between march and april, that resulted in closing of more plants and facilities.
As of today, 3 out of 4 of the last operating coal power stations in UK are operating in Central England, in the area once called “The Megawatt Valley”.