June 14, 2017 Read More →

BP: Global Energy Markets in ‘Decisive’ Shift From Coal

Financial Times:

The world has made a “decisive” shift away from coal and not even Donald Trump will be able to save it.

That was the message from BP, the UK-based oil group, as it published energy data on Tuesday showing that global coal production plunged by 6.2 per cent last year, the largest annual fall on record. Global coal consumption also dropped as the US, China and especially the UK cut their use of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

“The fortunes of coal appear to have taken a decisive break from the past,” said Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, explaining its decline was due to a number of “structural, long-term factors”.

These include increasingly competitive renewables, which BP’s figures show were again the fastest-growing energy source in 2016, as well as mounting government and societal pressure to shift to cleaner energy.

The rising availability of natural gas is also a problem for coal, not least in the US where Mr Trump has made plain his ambition to revive use of the fossil fuel since taking office in January.

Mr Dale cast doubt on the US president’s chances of success, noting that US coal use had fallen because of the formidable market advantages of cheaper shale gas, rather than government regulations.

“Unless you do something to stop shale gas, which doesn’t appear to be what the administration would be keen to do, I find it hard to see how that trend would change,” he said.

($) BP highlights ‘decisive’ shift away from coal power

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