Global Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Australia: Hume Coal Proposal Will Be Left Behind as Energy Markets Move On

IEEFA Australia: Hume Coal Proposal Will Be Left Behind as Energy Markets Move On

New Coal Mine Makes Even Less Sense than It Did Last Year; Hume Will Find it Hard to Compete with Higher-Quality Coking Coal

Despite the significant increase in coking coal prices that began in late 2016, the proposed Hume Coal project in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales seems no more likely to proceed now than it did when IEEFA reviewed it ten months ago. Hume Coal, a subsidiary of South Korea’s largest steel maker POSCO, has […]

IEEFA Report: State-Owned Utility NTPC Takes a Lead Role in India’s Electricity Transition

IEEFA Report: State-Owned Utility NTPC Takes a Lead Role in India’s Electricity Transition

Country’s Largest Generation Company—Ranked Third Globally in Coal-Fired Capacity and Seventh in Generation—Emerges as Key Supporter of Government’s Renewable-Energy Initiative

May 25, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — The state-owned Indian utility NTPC is playing a key role in India’s push toward retooling its electricity-generation system, according to a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report—“NTPC as a Force in India’s Electricity Transition: Leading the Way Toward a New Energy Economy”—details how […]

IEEFA Update: An Increasingly Cursed Australian Coal Project

IEEFA Update: An Increasingly Cursed Australian Coal Project

Bad Financials, Weak Markets, Policy Headwinds, Social-License Issues, Transparency Questions, Climate Risk: The Many Afflictions Hobbling the Proposed Carmichael Mine

update on Adani’s long-festering coal mine project in northern Queensland that plumbs the depths of the Indian conglomerate’s financials and finds them vastly insufficient for the supposed job at hand. Our report— “Adani: Remote Prospect: Carmichael Status Update 2017”—follows on previous work we’ve done around what would be the biggest new coal mine in the […]

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 […]

November 30, 2016 Read More →
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 […]

November 17, 2016 Read More →
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. […]

November 5, 2016 Read More →
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 […]

September 22, 2016 Read More →
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 […]

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 […]

March 3, 2016 Read More →
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 […]

February 11, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

U.K. Coal Industry Continues Its Fade

The Guardian: Once the engine of the Industrial Revolution and employer of nearly 1.2 million people, the fall of old king coal in the UK has been precipitous. Only five years ago, the fuel was generating more than 40% of the UK’s electricity, but new analysis by Imperial College London reveals coal supplied just 2% […]

July 20, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: The World Is Watching as the Biggest Utility in the Second Most Populous Country Shifts Gears

India's National Thermal Power Corporation Emerges as a Transition Cornerstone

A Morgan Stanley downgrade this month of the Indian utilities industry highlights how renewable energy is becoming so cheap that thermal power, mostly coal, is no longer competitive. This is a highly significant market signal likely to be accompanied by further growth in the already impressive number of high-caliber international investors moving into India’s renewables […]

July 19, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: A New Database Tracks Companies Heavily Invested in Coal Expansion

Huffington Post: Urgewald, an NGO with a long history of urging the finance industry to divest, has created an in-depth database, coalexit, that lists the top 120 companies that are most responsible for future coal plant development around the world. The database will be a powerful tool for use by climate-focused investors, banks, and insurers […]

July 18, 2017 Read More →

Decisions to Curb Coal Use in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan Will Have Profound Effects on Australian Coal Export Market

Michael Slezak in the Guardian: As Australia mulls the building of its biggest-ever export thermal coal mine, its biggest foreign buyers look set to reduce their consumption, driving down the price of Australian coal, and the profitability of its mines. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan together buy about 30% of the world’s exported thermal coal, including 70% […]

July 12, 2017 Read More →

Australia Scales Down China Shenhua’s Expansion Plans

Rod McGuirk for the Associated Press: A state government said on Wednesday it would buy back most of a Chinese mining company’s coal exploration license for 262 million Australian dollars ($201 million) to help protect some of Australia’s most fertile farmland. The New South Wales state government said it would buy back 51.4 percent of […]

July 12, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Australia: Hume Coal Proposal Will Be Left Behind as Energy Markets Move On

IEEFA Australia: Hume Coal Proposal Will Be Left Behind as Energy Markets Move On

New Coal Mine Makes Even Less Sense than It Did Last Year; Hume Will Find it Hard to Compete with Higher-Quality Coking Coal

Despite the significant increase in coking coal prices that began in late 2016, the proposed Hume Coal project in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales seems no more likely to proceed now than it did when IEEFA reviewed it ten months ago. Hume Coal, a subsidiary of South Korea’s largest steel maker POSCO, has […]

‘Don’t Fight China, the Federal Reserve of Coal’

Wall Street Journal: Imagine you live in a village where one very large and powerful family both farms and eats half of the grain, and has massive tracts of unused, fertile land. Is the grain business one you would want to get into? This is roughly the situation the world’s coal producers find themselves in […]

June 29, 2017 Read More →

Trump Ignores India Energy Policy Progress

Washington Times: Cooperating in the fight against climate change had been a central part of the U.S.-India relationship under President Barack Obama, but the issue was relegated to the back burner Monday during President Trump’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As part of its commitment under the landmark international deal, India promised to […]

June 27, 2017 Read More →

Coal’s Recent Rise Isn’t Likely to Last

Associated Press: The world’s biggest coal users – China, the United States and India – have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions. Mining data reviewed by The Associated Press show […]

June 26, 2017 Read More →

Amid ‘Renewables Frenzy,’ Asia to Reach Peak Coal by 2024

Global Trade Review: Asia will reach peak coal in 2024, with a rapid increase in renewable energy investment set to meet the continent’s growing power needs. By 2040, there will be US$10.2tn invested in new power generation capacity worldwide, of which US$4.8tn will be in Asia, data from the New Energy Outlook 2017 report from […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →