Transitions in coal-intensive regions

Coal regions in transition: the challenge

Coal is currently mined in 41 regions across 12 EU countries, making it the most abundant fossil fuel in the EU and a significant source of economic activity.

Transition towards a low carbon economy implies significant technological, economic and social challenges, in particular for coal-intensive regions that have to prepare for the reduction or phasing-out of coal, both due to market-driven trends and environmental policies.

On the one hand, these regions need an effective roadmap to make the necessary transition to a more diversified economic base and a more sustainable energy system. On the other hand, the transition process should ensure social cohesion and justice for communities and regions dependent on coal production.

The project supports nine coal-intensive regions around Europe to design (or re-design) their Research and Innovation (R&I) strategies in order to facilitate their transition towards a sustainable energy system.
Core activities include:

  • Mobilization of a wide range of stakeholders in nine European regions to discuss and agree on a shared vision and priorities for coal transition
  • Joint development of R&I strategies, industrial roadmaps and decision support tools
  • Identification and analysis of best practice examples of successful and ambitious transition processes in coal intensive regions
  • Assessment of social, environmental and technological challenges
  • Elaboration of guidelines on how to mobilize investment
  • Fostering R&I cooperation among coal intensive regions in Europe and beyond

TRACER project activities focus on nine European regions with a long history in coal mining and use of coal as fuel for power generation. In the project, EUREC leads the creation of theTechnology Roadmap and Research and Innovation Agenda.