Global Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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India’s Fast-Moving Energy Transition: $100 Billion in Renewables Investments So Far This Year

A Crush of Deals With State-Owned Enterprises, Leading Power Companies, Billionaires, Major Firms and Utilities

Investments worth more than $100 billion over the past eight months are driving an unprecedented shift to renewable energy in India. The trend is detailed in a report we just posted—India’s Electricity Sector Transformation—that charts the accelerating influx of global capital into India as the country moves toward its goal of installing 175 gigawatts of […]

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More News and Commentary

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 […]

Read More →

IEEFA China: Why the Rally in Coal Prices Is Unsustainable

A Short-Term Surge Is at the Mercy of Long-Term Trends

While thermal coal export prices have doubled since the first of the year, IEEFA remains of the view that the price spike is due solely to the confluence of several short-term policy and weather factors in China and India. By far the more important trend to watch is what’s seen in the 10.7 percent year-on-year, […]

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Renewables Are a Winner in Global Energy Transition; Coal Is the Loser

John Schwartz for the New York Times: The annual report of the I.E.A., which is based in Paris, noted that renewable energy was booming, with more capacity added in 2015 than for coal, oil and nuclear power combined. Still, fossil fuels will have a substantial role to play in the global energy mix for many […]

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Trump’s ‘Nearly Impossible’ Promise to Revive Coal

Rebecca Smith for the Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to resurrect the ailing U.S. coal industry and put miners back to work. Delivering on that vow could prove nearly impossible. Electric utilities that buy more than 95% of the coal mined in America have already retired hundreds of their coal-burning power […]

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Company Drops Plans for Coal-Export Dock in Oregon

From the Associated Press: An energy company has scrapped plans to build a coal dock on the Columbia River in eastern Oregon. The East Oregonian reports that the proposed Coyote Island Terminal at the Port of Morrow in Boardman would have shipped 8 million tons of coal down the river each year for export to […]

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On the Blogs: Climate Pact Will Drive Decline of Coal-Fired Electricity in Europe, China and India

Ken Silverstein for Environmental Leader: It’s all in the context of the Paris accord, signed by 191 countries in December 2015. Last week, it was ratified in Marrakesh. Under the agreement, countries will submit new blueprints every five years. The goal remains to limit global temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius by […]

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IEEFA Update: The Global Energy Transformation Remains on Track

U.S. Presidential Election Results Regardless, the Gathering Transition to Renewables Continues

Regardless of any potential or even likely shift in U.S. energy policies, the transition of global energy markets is firmly entrenched. A succession of financial and technology breakthroughs position renewable energy and efficiency as clearly price competitive in an increasing number of energy markets  Policy action, with the ratification of the Paris climate accord, reflects […]

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‘Coal Boomtown in China Warms to Renewables’

Christine Chou for the China Post: While China’s push for clean energy threatens to transform former coal boomtowns such as Shaanxi Province’s Yulin into so-called “ghost cities,” the city’s government plans to buck the trend. Officials in Yulin hope to ride a wave of expansion in renewables and other sectors to diversify the city’s economy. […]

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On the Blogs: A Faster-Than-Expected 21st-Century Transition to Renewables

Leah Y. Parks for TriplePundit.com: A 21st-century energy transformation is already underway. Our digital revolution is facilitating massive progress in technologies that are leading to disruption and will result in the replacement of the fossil fuel industry faster than most could imagine. We can jump over political resistance and climate denial despite outdated and misinformed […]

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At Global Climate Talks, ‘No Turning Back’

Alister Doyle for Reuters: There is “no turning back” from a global accord to combat climate change, Morocco’s foreign minister said on the eve of U.N. talks in Marrakesh amid fears that Donald Trump will try to pull out if he wins the U.S. presidency. The number of countries that have ratified the 2015 Paris […]

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