Coal powered the industrial revolution but is the industry hay day over?
Some analysis claims this year will witness the largest fall in electricity production of coal on record. The reduction is estimated to be more than the power generated from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK combined.
A projected drop of 3% published in the online journal Carbon Brief identified the reduction in output but what about the new 600 million consumers in India and China and how will their demand for cheap coal electricity effect the dynamics?
A fall in coal based electricity raises the prospect of a slowing of global CO2 emissions growth for 2019. Regardless, of the actual production levels, the authors claim that emissions remain far higher than the level required to keep the global temperature rise below 2C. They also fail to factor in the aforementioned new demand.
The European pattern follows the same reduction seen in the US which has seen the largest reductions in coal-fired power generation despite Trump’s efforts to revive the coal industry.
The decline has witnessed Eight US coal companies file for bankruptcy this year, including Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the country.
This news gives hope but underlines the importance of offering the developing world environmentally cost alternatives to coal and the role that the governments takes in this ongoing challenge.We