According to the figures in ‘Key World Energy Statistics: 2008’ coal is responsible for 42% of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere and increases global warming by locking in sunlight on earth like a greenhouse. This global warming is causing rise in temperatures and bringing many changes in the weather patterns causing regular floods and droughts. Oil and natural gas also produce carbon dioxide which increases global warming.
In addition, although there are large coal-reserves in the world which is expected to last through the next century, the mining of coal in EU can be dangerous and costly in terms of time and money. This is because some coal-reserves across EU are deep in the ground. Even if resources are used to extract coal, the supply will soon run out as it is a finite resource. Like coal, oil and natural gas are also finite sources which might seem abundant now but will eventually deplete as per the consumption. Europe imports 50% of its total energy supply (oil and natural gas) from Russia and Middle East. High demand across the globe for these sources has raised the question of future availability of oil and gas. It is estimated by the Belkin (2008) that Europe will import 65% of its total energy by 2030 the costs of which till that time would have doubled. This dependency of Europe on carbon-based energy is seen as a threat to its economic stability and uncertain increase in energy prices. As the use of carbon based energy will increase, EU has pledged to reduce its carbon-emissions by 20% till 2020 (Belkin, 2008).
In addition, the electricity industry in EU is facing a huge challenge of generation capacity investment which will be needed in the future. As technological advancements are increasing the move towards sustainable economics, the growth in wind power generation is seen as one of the domestic sources for electricity generation in EU and as a