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 ( — 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

Global Trends Indicate a Coal Comeback Is Unlikely

Financial Times: President Donald Trump has pledged to “put our miners back to work” in the US, promising to return high-paying jobs to rundown rural areas of states such as Pennsylvania that brought him victory in last year’s election. Trends in coal markets, both in the US and internationally, suggest that will be an uphill battle. In 2013, […]

September 21, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Asia: Why a Philippines Coal-Import Tax Makes Sense

A Corrective Policy Aimed at Offsetting the External Costs of Dirty Power Generation; Indian and South Korea Have Already Set the Bar

Debate has picked up this week in the Philippines over proposals to enact a tax on imported coal as one of several ways to support a national public-investment initiative. Lawmakers are suggesting a levy of up to $20 a ton on coal brought into the Philippines, a country that relies heavily on coal-fired generation for […]

September 15, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Energy Agency Sees Declining Long-Term Role for Coal, Views Renewables as Fastest-Growing Energy Sector Through 2040

Energy Information Administration: Through 2040, the IEO2017 projects increased world consumption of marketed energy from all fuel sources, except for coal demand, which is projected to remain essentially flat. Renewables are expected to be the fastest-growing energy source, with consumption increasing by an average 2.3% per year between 2015 and 2040. The world’s second fastest-growing […]

September 15, 2017 Read More →

The German Transition Model

Scientific American: Zollverein is a symbol of Germany’s transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy—a program called the Energiewende that aims to have 80 percent of the country’s energy generated from renewables by 2050. That program has transformed Germany into a global poster child for green energy. But what does the transition mean for […]

September 6, 2017 Read More →

Montana Coal Industry, With Nowhere to Go but Up, Reports a Production Increase Over Last year

Billings Gazette: “Certainly what we’ve seen is an increase in our sales to our Asia customers primarily in South Korea and Japan,” said Rick Curtsinger, Cloud Peak Energy spokesman. “Last year by the end of the second quarter, we had shipped 200,000 tons of coal to our Asia customers. This year as of June 30, […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →

As Demand in China Wanes, ‘Trouble for Coal’

Wall Street Journal: China pumps out machinery, cellphones and smog, but it runs on coal. It is by far the largest burner of the black stuff so, when Chinese factories start slowing down, it is usually time to sell your coal stocks. A sharp economic reversal in China this year remains unlikely, but July data […]

September 5, 2017 Read More →

Sign of the Times: Yancoal Gets Few Takers

The Australian: Yancoal Australia’s $US2.35 billion ($3bn) equity raising has met with next to no interest from institutional and retail shareholders, leaving its underwriters and Chinese backers on the hook for almost the entire amount. Yancoal, which needed the cash to complete its acquisition of Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied business in NSW, only attracted […]

August 30, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Coal Producers ‘at the Whim of Chinese Policy Makers’

Wall Street Journal: China’s reemergence as a coal importer has boosted the fortunes of U.S. producers who are now shipping more coal abroad than any time in the last two years. The trend has helped solidify a business that at the beginning of last year was suffering through a spate of bankruptcies and threatened with […]

August 28, 2017 Read More →

Australian Coal Industry ‘on Life Support’

The Guardian: For a glimpse into the future of coal power in Australia, go west. The country’s last major investment in coal-fired electricity was in Western Australia in 2009, when Colin Barnett’s state government announced a major refurbishment of the Muja AB station about 200km south of Perth, far from the gaze of the east […]

August 24, 2017 Read More →

The Problem for Coal and Nuclear: ‘Capital, With Its Lust for Growth, Continues to Migrate Elsewhere’

Bloomberg Businessweek: U.S. electricity demand has stopped growing over the past decade, partly due to recession but more a reflection of structural changes in the economy and rising efficiency. Its tough to make the economics of  a new nuclear or coal-fired plant work. By the time they are permitted and built, it can be many […]

August 16, 2017 Read More →