All the Climate and Enviromental pushes have run into the reality of economics NOW….
The Ukraine / Russia conflict has made Europe reach back for other energy supplies to replace Russia natural gas political turn off’s….
Weather and drought conditions have forced countries put supplying power ahead of everything else….
Somewhere the Democratic US Senator from coal rich West Virginia IS smiling…..
Coal prices are soaring as the global energy crisis forces power providers worldwide to boost usage of the carbon-laden mineral.
Why it matters: A renewed embrace of coal represents a turnabout from the previous global focus on cutting emissions.
Driving the news: Coal prices around the world have reached new highs in recent weeks.
- Europe’s benchmark coal futures price is up roughly 90% from last year to over $320 per metric ton.
- Australia’s Newcastle coal, a benchmark for the Asian market, also hit a record of more than $450 per metric ton in recent days.
- U.S. coal prices are also hitting records of nearly $200 per short ton….
The impact: With production basically flat in recent years, the demand growth has generated a sizable price reaction.
- A July report from the International Energy Agency forecasts global coal consumption will rise 0.7% this year — and roughly match the all-time high for coal usage set in 2013.
What we’re watching: Electricity-related carbon emissions over the coming year, as the uptick in coal usage will likely push them up from the record high level reached in 2021.
The bottom line: “That’s the tradeoff that we face,” says Harrison Fell, a professor of energy economics at North Carolina State University.
- “We have this alternative readily available source that’s great for reliability, but at the cost of environmental outcomes.”