Coal Dread: June Issue of TerraJoule.us

Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Podcast: This month’s podcast is open only to purchasers and subscribers.

Model Portfolio: There are changes to the model portfolio this month. See this month’s issue for details.

From this month’s issue:

Over the past three years the global production of coal has come achingly close, in energy terms, to matching the global production of oil. These two energy sources have crossed paths once before: starting in the 1940’s, during WW2, oil began to make rapid market share gains on coal. By the early 1960’s, oil would overtake coal to claim the crown as master energy commodity. But as you can see in the chart below, coal’s steady production today above 3800 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe) has nearly caught oil’s production levels around 4000 Mtoe. Part of coal’s gain has come from oil’s stagnation: oil has lost market share every years for the past 15 years… And yet, one rarely hears talk of the Death of Oil. Nor, have we seen the kind of crushing market sector shrinkage in the global oil sector that’s been sustained in the global coal sector. The Death of Coal is either a premature thesis, or one that is wrongly scaled to the actual, true size of the problem…That said, global coal forecasts from IEA Paris and EIA Washington need to change, and should model two cases going forward. In the current case, slow global growth allows renewables and natural gas to exploit small demand growth for new energy capacity. In a second case, global growth revives, and despite continued fast growth rates in renewables, energy demand rebounds to existing capacity—much of which is still served by coal. Indeed, one of the ironies of a world transitioning to the powergrid is that it offers a great opportunity for renewables to enter the existing platform, but alas, provides continual opportunity for coal to serve as the backbone for global electricity.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – Coal Dread – June 2015” by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy