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

IEEFA Media Monitor: The Weight of Fact Versus Fiction

As New Energy-Policy Propaganda Spews Forth From Washington, the Truth Finds an Audience Too

While a new regime of Washington policymakers is working hard to—what’s the word, bamboozle/reeducate/distract?—Americans on the energy transition gaining momentum nationally, an informed backlash is taking root. The New Republic has some fun with what’s happening in a piece published yesterday by Emily Atkin that talks about how Scott Pruitt, the new EPA director, chose “for […]

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On the Blogs: India Turns Purposefully Away From Coal

CircleofBlue.org: At the frontlines, the global pivot away from coal has been much swifter than almost anybody predicted. China, the world’s largest coal producer and consumer, has cancelled 300 coal-fired power plants in the last two years. In the United States, the world’s second-largest producer, coal production fell to 739 million tons last year, down […]

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On the Blogs: Alaska Mine Cancellation Emblematic of Freefall in U.S. Coal Exports

Sightline Institute: Another month, another coal export project down the tubes. This time it’s the proposed Chuitna mine in Alaska, a controversial export project launched a few years ago near the peak in the Pacific Rim coal bubble. After submitting several thousand pages of permitting documentation, the project backers had no choice but to shelve […]

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IEEFA Update: Lacking Customers, PacRim Bails Out of Its Alaska Coal Project

A New Mine on Cook Inlet Was as Crazy as It Sounded

Word out of Alaska this morning that investors have pulled out of the proposed Chuitna Coal Project near Alaska’s Cook Inlet was presaged by the fast-moving global transition in electricity generation. Research we published two years ago—and that we outlined in an August 2015 letter to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources—pointed to where Delaware-based […]

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IEEFA Indonesia: Shifting Regulatory Landscape Makes Coal-Fired Plants Riskier to Finance

Rule Changes That Undermine Traditional Guarantees to Developers

In the fast-evolving regulatory landscape of the Indonesian power sector, it’s hard to say for sure how changes will affect developers, investors and lenders. The trends are instructive nonetheless. The state-owned utility, Persero (PLN), which is the sole offtaker for electricity in Indonesia, can now negotiate and re-allocate risks under recently revised rules issued by […]

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U.S. Coal Company Drops Longstanding Plan for Alaska Mine

Associated Press: A company that sought to develop a major coal mine 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage has suspended applications for state permits. The Peninsula Clarion reports PacRim Coal has halted its permit process for a strip mine on the west side of Cook Inlet near the village of Tyonek (teye-OH-nek). The Alaska […]

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Bank Risk in ‘Clean Coal’

The Australian: If the full-throated generation of hot air went to powering turbines, the present debate over Australia’s energy future would be moot. Instead, on it roars, with politics continuing to trump good policy. New energy infrastructure is expensive and since most deals involve one if not all of Australia’s big four, banks have a […]

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On the Blogs: Coal Mine Turned Theme Park

CleanTechnica.com: The small Dutch energy company Vandebron, which allows consumers to buy their renewable energy directly from local producers on an online marketplace, has offered utility Nuon €1 million for its coal-fired power plant in Amsterdam. After the purchase, the energy startup wants to shut the plant down and turn it into a theme park. […]

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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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