Monday, July 15

Global Coal Industry Reacts to International Changes

There is a lot of uncertainty within the global coal industry — with major differences in certain countries.

The coal industry in the United States has been an integral part of the country’s economy but has seen some significant changes in recent years. In 2015, for example, coal-fired power plants supplied roughly 33% of all the electric power utilized across the United States.

According to Business Insider, an independent energy agency rejected the current administration’s plan to support coal-fired power plants, despite President Donald Trump’s continued bolstering of the struggling coal sector.

Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., called the action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a “bureaucratic cop-out.”

“While FERC commissioners sit on their hands and refuse to take the action directed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry and President Donald Trump, the decommissioning of more coal-fired and nuclear plants could result, further jeopardizing the reliability, resiliency and security of America’s electric power grids,” Murray added. “It will also raise the cost of electricity for all Americans.”

Across the pond in the U.K., a new coal-fired power plant closure plan has been announced.

Power Engineering International reports that the U.K. will close all coal-fired power plants not equipped with carbon capture and storage tech by 2025, per the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

“We consider it prudent for the secretary of state to retain provisions to act in emergency situations, as a last resort, where there might be a shortfall in electricity generation, or risk of one, and that suspension would wholly or partially mitigate that risk,” said officials from BEIS.

While no coal power stations closed throughout 2017, the U.K.’s government official assessment points out that a carbon tax, along with low gas prices, have hurt coal plants’ profitability.

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