Global Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

Investors May Not Be Eager to Absorb More Losses Like Those Seen in Recent Dutch Build-Outs

Investment in new coal-fired power plants appears off the agenda in Western Europe. Witness the astonishing write-down of brand-new assets in the Netherlands, where European utility giants RWE, Uniper, and Engie have drastically reduced their valuations of plants barely a year old (read the report we published this morning, “The Dutch Coal Mistake,” which concludes […]

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IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

A Not-So-Distant Future in Which Thermal-Fired Electricity Generation Declines Precipitously

The International Energy Agency, out with its annual energy-markets forecast, “World Energy Outlook 2016,” remains behind the curve but not as far behind as it was. A history of IEA underestimation of technology change has been partially remedied in this new report, but the agency’s solar and wind forecasts can at best be described still […]

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IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

An Acceleration to Renewables, Faster-Than-Expected Shifts Regionally and Nationally, Growing Risk for Investors Who Lag Behind

Three notable takeaways emerge from the rapid transformation of the global energy economy, as we detail in a new paper we published today as the landmark Paris Agreement officially goes into effect. The global transition to renewables is accelerating. Change is happening faster than expected. Those left behind in this transition face growing financial risk. […]

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IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

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The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

The Federal Government’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

Appoint a Price-Setting Commission; Ban Exports; Cancel Some Leases; Eliminate Self-Bonding; Mandate Set-Asides for Mine Clean-up and Miner Pensions; Require Twice-a-Year Audits; Assume Smaller Markets

It’s time for the U.S. to modernize how it manages its publicly owned coal reserves. That’s the essence of comments we’ve filed today with the Department of the Interior as it begins a review of its federal coal-leasing program in the Powder River Basin, a program that has been mismanaged for years at taxpayer expense […]

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Coal Won’t Solve the Energy Poverty Problem

Coal Won’t Solve the Energy Poverty Problem

Times Have Changed; Old Electricity-Generation Models Don’t Work Anymore

Coal-fired electricity is no longer the economy builder its proponents say it is. Time was when coal in fact did contribute to growth in many economies, but times have changed. Today governments and private interests worldwide concede—even emphasize—the economic and environmental dysfunction of coal. We’ve just published an IEEFA Briefing Note (“Energy Poverty, Then and […]

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If Peabody Is to Recover, It Must Close More Mines

If Peabody Is to Recover, It Must Close More Mines

The World’s Biggest Private-Sector Coal Company’s Current Turnaround Strategy Won’t Work

Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal-mining company in the world, is out with a dismal review today of its 2015 performance. The metrics unto themselves are damning, and Peabody’s plan for turning things around is even worse. In a report we’ve just published (with the Seattle-based Sightline Institute)—“Peabody’s Strategies for Survival Ignore Market Realities and Risks […]

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Eight (8) Signs Now Is the Time to Invest in Energy Transformation

Eight (8) Signs Now Is the Time to Invest in Energy Transformation

Rapid Change Is Already Being Driven by New Policies and the Shifting Sands of Finance

Evidence continues to mount that the world is beyond peak coal consumption and that its appetite for thermal coal is waning. This trend has gathered remarkable momentum in 2015, as seen in sharp consumption declines in key coal markets. We’ve published a report today that explores recent developments around the world: “Carpe Diem: Eight Signs […]

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Fact-Checking the Claim That Australian Coal Is Clean

Studiously Avoiding the Trend Toward a New Energy Economy

We’re seeing an increasing number of boastful assertions by Australian politicians that Australian coal is environmentally friendlier than other coal. It’s not true—and we’ve published a fact sheet here that gets into the weeds of it—but one illuminating comparison can be found when you stack Australian benchmark thermal coal up next to coal from Indonesia, […]

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US$100 Billion in New Renewable Investments in 2015 Power India’s Energy Transition

US$100 Billion in New Renewable Investments in 2015 Power India’s Energy Transition

Nov. 12, 2015 (IEEFA) — Investments worth more than US$100 billion over the past eight months are driving an unprecedented shift to renewable energy in India, according to a major new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report—India’s Electricity Sector Transformation—charts the accelerating influx of global capital into India […]

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More News and Commentary

Last Coal-Fired Plant in Beijing Closes

AFP: The last large coal-fired power plant in Beijing has suspended operations, with the city’s electricity now generated by natural gas, the state news agency reported as smog enveloped the Chinese capital this weekend. The shuttering of the Huangneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant comes on the heels of China’s annual legislative sessions, where Premier Li […]

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Global Rate of New Coal-Plant Construction Drops

Associated Press: Led by cutbacks in China and India, construction of new coal-fired power plants is falling worldwide, improving chances climate goals can be met despite earlier pessimism, three environmental groups said Wednesday. A joint report by the groups CoalSwarm, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace follows a warning this week by two international agencies that […]

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Pipeline for Coal-Fired Plants Is in ‘Freefall’

The Guardian: The dramatic decline in new coal-fired units was overwhelmingly due to policy shifts in China and India and subsequent declining investment prospects, according to a report by Greenpeace, the US-based Sierra Club and research network CoalSwarm. The report said the amount of new capacity starting construction was down 62% in 2016 on the […]

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Coal-Mine Conversion in Germany

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: In projects and technology developments, pumped hydro storage has made headlines in Europe. A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease of life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy. The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is […]

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Statoil: In Global Energy Transition, ‘Winners Will Provide Energy With the Lowest Cost and Carbon Footprint Possible’

Wall Street Journal: Norway’s state-owned oil giant Statoil ASA said it was rebalancing its business model so far toward renewables and cleaner fossil fuels that the company’s value would rise even if the world’s governments took drastic actions to limit carbon emissions. In a stress test the company published in its sustainability report Friday, Statoil […]

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A Global Decoupling From Fossil Fuels

Utility Dive: Stricter emissions regulations, a decline in the use of coal, cheaper natural and the rise of clean energy have all helped keep global emissions flat since 2014. The progress has been apparent. According to the IEA, 2016 emissions in the United States were at their lowest level since 1992, almost a quarter century […]

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IEEFA Conference: Long Odds for U.S. Coal; Transition in Europe

‘We Live in a Time of Energy-consumption Choices, and Consumers Want Clean Energy'

The U.S. coal industry faces long odds against recovery, said panel members today at IEEFA’s Energy Finance 2017 conference in New York. Sheldon Stone, a partner at Amherst Partners in Detroit who specializes in bankruptcy cases, said bankruptcy-recovery plans filed by the likes of Peabody Energy and Alpha Natural Resources will in all likelihood fail. […]

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IEEFA Conference: Market Change Has Momentum

IEEFA Conference: Market Change Has Momentum

‘We WILL Price Emissions and We WILL Move to a Low-Carbon Economy’

IEEFA’s three-day Energy Finance 2017 Conference in New York began Tuesday with opening remarks that framed the global energy transition in terms of market-driven realities with momentum that will overcome status-quo opposition. “We will price emission and we will move to a low-carbon economy,” said Bob Litterman a founder of Kepos Capital and a former […]

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China Coal Usage Continues to Drop

DaijiWorld.com: The consumption of coal in China is on the decline, despite economic growth, showing the country is making efforts to combat climate change. The 2016 Statistical Communiqué on Economic and Social Development released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics last week, said China’s electricity sector transformation continued over 2016. With coal consumption down 4.7 […]

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IEEFA Update: China Is Now Three Years Past Peak Coal

Declines in Consumption and Production Show an Economy Decoupling From Energy Demand

With official word this week from the China National Bureau of Statistics that the world’s biggest user of coal reduced its consumption in 2016 by 4.7 percent comes another signal that the Chinese electricity transformation continues apace. The trend has three years of history to it now, which is to say China is three years […]

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