Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of Engie, one of the world’s biggest power companies, says fossil fuel electricity generation is on the way out in Europe.
The economics of gas and coal power generation have deteriorated to the point that future growth is more likely to come in big emerging markets such as India and China, rather than the EU, he told the Financial Times.
“The choice we have made is very clear. We have stopped investing - and so did the others by the way - in thermal power generation in Europe and we are investing in renewables.”
Many of Europe’s big power companies have been forced to mothball gas plants and write down assets as they struggle with overcapacity and the growth of subsidised renewables.
Daniel Benes, chief executive of the Czech group CEZ which has coal power plants around central Europe, told Financial Times that coal power plants will still have their place in power generation in the near future, but it was clear that in the long term this had to change.