- Europe is moving back to coal as a last-resort solution to counter its energy crisis.
- Global coal consumption could reach levels we haven’t seen in a decade.
- Countries such Austria, Poland, the Netherlands and Greece have also started restarting coal plants.
- China’s coal imports have risen 24% month-to-month in July as the country copes with peak summer electricity demand.
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22
Last year in November, the UK, together with key partner Italy, hosted the COP26 climate summit, an event many believed to be the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control. A key outcome of the summit was that dozens of nations pledged to end deforestation, curb CO2 and methane emissions and also stop public investment in coal power. Specifically regarding coal, a total of 46 countries signed the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition statement, promising to “accelerate a transition away from unabated coal power generation” and “cease issuance of new permits for new unabated coal-fired power generation projects.”
But less than a year later, all those promises have gone to the dogs, with developed countries now scrambling to resume coal-based energy generation after the Ukraine crisis triggered a global energy meltdown.
According to a report by the Observer Research Foundation, energy supply disruptions triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine took LNG prices even higher leaving coal as the only option for dispatchable and affordable power in much of Europe, including the tough markets of Western Europe and North America that have explicit policies to phase out coal.
According to the Washington Post, coal mines and power plants that closed 10 years ago have begun to be repaired in Germany. In what industry observers have dubbed a “spring” for Germany’s coal-fired power plants, the country is expected to burn at least 100,000 tons of coal per month by winter. That’s a big U-turn considering that Germany’s goal had been to phase out all coal-generated electricity by 2038.
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