The Future of Coal


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The Future of Coal

  1. 1. Ece DincaslanInternational Relations and EUB. Kavalov, S.D. Peteves, 2007. The Future of Coal. Institute for Energy, EUR 22744 EN Energy has an important and great place, in terms of economic, political and social aspects.It is very obvious that energy is a profound and indispensable element regardless of itsspecies. If the need of coal, rate of reserves evaluated it is known that coal is the most widelyconsumed and demanded source of energy when compared to others. Recently, there havebeen thoughts that due to the tendency for other sources, especially for natural gas, thedemand and consumption of coal may be reduced in comparison with the past years. With this point of view, Kavalov and Peteves (2007) examine the supply and demandexpectations for coal by the year of 2030, and the major factors and tendencies which canaffect the supply of coal in the future. Authors analyzed this subject into three main branches;the assumptions, facts and information, use of coal and competitions, and potential threats byregions. At a first glance, Kavalov and Peteves (2007) emphasize of the composition of coal by theprospects of power generation (electricity and heat), metallurgy (iron and steel making),cement manufacturing and other industrial sectors, and residential or agricultural sector. Interms of carbon intensity coal has large variations. Anthracite and bituminous ‘black coals’are high-rank coals and have higher carbon content, which are mostly used for metallurgicaland thermal purposes. In addition, light ‘brown coals’ are low-rank coals and have lowercarbon content and are used only to generate electricity. As authors mentioned because of thelack of good qualitative coal, power and heat generation accounted for more than half ofglobal coal demand. Thus, power generation sector to be the main consumer of coal inworldwide. However, while authors giving natural gas as the main competing fuel, it shouldnot be ignored that, reserve rates of natural gas is much scarcer than the source of the coal andit is also really important perspective in terms of energy security policies of states. The authors purpose in the second step, the use of coal and competition with otherresources. In this part Kavalov and Peteves (2007) state the importance of coal usage becauseit is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Thus, EU and other developed economies in favourof the use of natural gas, that is much cleaner than coal, and it is more sensitive to the naturethan coal; therefore it seems preferable. On the other hand, it is commonly accepted thatenergy dependency is a threat of energy security notably for the import dependent countriesand especially for the EU. According to the current index, import dependency of Europe on
  2. 2. oil and natural gas could increase through 2020, 2030 and 2050. It is clear that, authors didnot miss security and diversity of supply risks, and analyzed the issue as regards toenvironmental consequences, because the emissions of greenhouse (GHG) gases and therelated thoughts of global warming and climate change are raising growing concerns all overthe world. The fact that EU’s electricity generation sectors mostly based on coal. One way or another,because of the targets under the Kyoto Protocol (2000) has entailed the EU to produce itselectricity from natural gas. If the GHG tendency increased, coal will lose out again, at theexpense of natural gas, and renewable energy sources. Although, the energy choice is affectedwith the greenhouse gas (CO2) emission concern, authors failed to explain future planning.When it carried out, future preferences will change because of the short supply of the naturalgas, in comparison with the coal. Pollutions caused by coal disturbed the civil and officialorganizations and the use of coal is thought to decrease day by day. And the abundance ofcoal reserves in all over the world resulted in a different dimension which supports the use ofcoal. The final step examined coal in terms of the potential threats to supply by regions. EUmembers, especially the some new member states are greatly consumer of coal, i.e. Poland,Czech Republic and Estonia and EU suffers form especially declining coal quality andextremely high production costs. Indeed, USA, China (previous big coal exporters) and Indiaare the biggest consumers. Although having many dangerous disadvantages in the sense ofenvironment, its cheapness and abundance make coal will be increasingly be used as anenergy resource. Authors seemed to be successful while stating the importance of USA,despite its huge reserves, the productivity of coalmines is continually decreasing, and they aregood at ranging coal reserves; Russia, Australia, China, India and South Africa. In conclusion, when future planning is carried out, future preferences will change becauseof the short supply of the natural gas and oil, in comparison with the coal. It can be said that,Kavalov and Peteves (2007) succeeded analyzing future of coal. Although the enhancementresult in higher production costs, the abundance of coal reserves in all over the world resultedin a different dimension which supports the use of coal. Works for much correct and carefuluse of coal and decreasing the harm caused by it to the minimum, have been seen veryeffective, and inappropriate use of the coal has improved in our country and all over theworld. What’s more, green house emission concern and policies toward this is still uncertain.The USA has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and other protocol signatories – China and Indiado not have significant reduction targets.