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

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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China’s Coal Consumption Falls for a Third Straight Year

From the Australian Financial Review: Chinese people are richer, having more babies (although not as many as expected), spending more time shopping online and using less coal, according to the latest statistics report on the country’s social and economic development. Coal consumption and production dropped for the third straight year in 2016, by 4.7 per […]

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India’s Coal Imports Down 21.7% in January

From the Deccan Chronicle: Coal imports declined by 21.7 per cent to 14.31 million tonnes in January as the power utilities did not lift much fuel due to abundant stock available with them. Coal import (all type of coals) in January 2017 stood at 14.31 million tonnes (MT) (provisional) against 18.28 MT in January 2016, […]

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On the Blogs: Indonesia’s Coal Industry Fights an Uphill Battle

Tara MacIsaac for Mongobay.com: Indonesia’s coal industry is trying to grow in a hostile climate. As the world moves to cut carbon emissions following the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the global coal industry is feeling the squeeze. Financial institutions in the developed world have started pulling out of coal investments. The rapidly dropping price of […]

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IEEFA India: Latest Record-Low Bids Underscore Solar’s Commercial Viability

International Coal Markets Are at Risk as Transformation Continues

As India was crossing the 50-gigawatt (GW) threshold for cumulative installed renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro), the initial bids for its first major solar auction of 2017 were announced—and came in at a record low Rs3.59-3.64/kWh this week. That’s down 16 percent year on year against the previous record low bid. This trend is not […]

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On the Blogs: The ‘Clean Coal’ Controversy in Australia

John Englart for NoFibs.com.au: Significantly, this week we have had the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull making statements in support of ‘clean coal’ at the National Press Club. Similar to Tony Abbott’s coal lobby line of Coal is good for humanity. The Australian Conservation Foundation were quick to send a Note to PM: clean coal doesn’t […]

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On the Blogs: Oil Major’s Execs Are Beginning to Grasp Peak Coal

Simon Evans for Carbon Brief: Analysis by Carbon Brief shows that, for the first time, the BP Energy Outlook is forecasting a peak in global coal demand. It has trimmed 239 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), or 6%, from its 2035 outlook for coal, which it now expects to be below demand in 2030. […]

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Revisionist Policy Drift in Australia Toward Expanding Definition of ‘Clean Coal’

Michael Slezak for The Guardian: Just a few months ago, the idea that a new coal power station would ever be built in Australia seemed laughable. Banks, energy companies and even the Turnbull government seemed to accept the inevitable decline of the coal industry. But, since then, the Turnbull government has been furiously talking up […]

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On the Blogs: ‘Bleak Year’ Ahead for Chinese Coal

Feng Hao for China Dialogue: Last year was the “year of cancelling coal” declared some Chinese media outlets, but the latest coal power policies suggest that 2017 is going to be even worse for the sector. The first blow landed less than two weeks into the New Year, when on January 13 a government letter […]

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