Energy from coal

During the last two decades, environmental and security concerns have led to a rapid and widespread development of renewable energies. Coal still plays a vital role in electricity generation worldwide, however. The current energy policy of the Czech Republic remains highly dependent on conventional resources. A public debate and political disputes over the future national energy policy are related to the issue of possible changes to the "territorial ecological limits of surface coal mining" in the Most region. Breaking of these limits (established by the first post-communist government in 1991), which have been recently contested by coal mining companies and the central government, would cause a demolition of several municipalities, strained relocation of thousands of people, and ecological devastation of a valuable landscape. Our research group analyzed and interpreted long-term negative consequences of coal energy production on the regional level in terms of the resource curse and environmental injustice theories. We realized a comparative survey of communities living in two towns in a close proximity to expanding opencast mine in the Most region (Czech Republic), which are threatened by displacement due to possible revisions of the current territorial mining limits. The survey provided new insights about the factors shaping social acceptance of and opposition to coal mining expansion. We analyzed social-spatial differences in perceptions of landscape and place attachment, and the influence of geographical and sociodemographic factors on personal attitudes to coal mining expansion and the involvement of local communities in local anti-coal activities and campaigns.

  • Frantal, B. (2017). Under the curse of coal: mined-out identity, environmental injustice and alternative futures for coal energy landscapes. In: Bouzarovski, S., Pasqualetti, M.J., & Castan Broto, V. (eds.), The Routledge Research Companion to Energy Geographies, Routledge, 200-215.
  • Frantal, B. (2016). Living on coal: Mined-out identity, community displacement and forming of anti-coal resistance in the Most region, Czech Republic. Resources Policy, 49, 385-393. (IF (2016) = 2.618; Q1 in Environmental Studies).
  • Frantal, B., & Novakova, E. (2014). A Curse of Coal? Exploring Unintended Regional Consequences of Coal Energy in the Czech Republic. Moravian Geographical Report, 22(2), 55-65. (IF (2014) = 0.872; Q3 in Geography).