An intriguing article just ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which had a title that began “Coal is Back” and a description of its positive impact on a local energy company.
Despite a list of problems, ranging from roof falls to equipment breakdowns to uncooperative geology, Cecil Township-based Consol Energy Inc. is riding a wave of high coal prices and a global energy market that, at least for a short time, is hungry for coal.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent halt in Russian gas flows to Europe has nudged coal markets in two ways.
One, it pushed up the price of natural gas across much of the world, which made coal a more cost-effective fuel in some places. Two, some utilities in Europe expect to burn more coal in the short term to displace Russian coal and gas, and that has also driven demand and higher prices for coal.
I recently noted a wind farm is being dismantled in western Germany to make way for an expansion of an open-pit lignite coal mine in a “paradoxical” situation highlighting the current prioritization of energy security over clean energy in Europe’s biggest economy.
QatarEnergy CEO and state minister for energy Saad al-Kaabi has also noted the U-turn from the climate-alarm-inspired transition to green energy.
“Many countries particularly in Europe which had been strong advocates of green energy and carbon-free future have made a sudden and sharp U-turn. Today, coal burning is once again on the rise reaching its highest levels since 2014.”
Governments across Europe have ploughed hundreds of billions of euros into tax cuts, handouts and subsidies to tackle the continent’s worst energy crisis in decades that is driving up inflation, forcing industries to shut production and hiking bills ahead of winter.
Coal mining is being ramped up in Greece, as nations in Europe are now prioritizing energy security.
At Greece’s largest coal mine, controlled explosions and the roar of giant excavators scooping up blasted rock have once again become routine. Coal production has been ramped up at the site near the northern Greek city of Kozani as the war in Ukraine forced many European nations to rethink their energy supplies.
Coal, long treated as a legacy fuel in Europe, is now helping the continent safeguard its power supply and cope with the dramatic rise in natural gas prices caused by the war.
Electricity generated by coal in the European Union jumped by 19% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a year earlier, according to the EU’s energy directorate, faster than any other source of power, as tension spiked between Russia and Ukraine and ahead of the invasion in late February.
Vijay Jayaraj, an environmental scientist and Research Associate with the CO2 Coalition, notes that investment strategists recognize that “dirty coal” is back.
Taking stock of the tremendous performance of coal, a Shaw and Partners senior analyst commented, “Who would have thought dirty ol’ coal would have been the best-performing equities in the last financial year? So far this financial year it’s also the best-performing sector.”
…The global green energy movement’s primary goal is to make economies transition to renewable sources of energy, a move that some believe will help save the planet from climate change. However, sources like wind, solar, and biomass are neither reliable nor affordable — nor even “renewable.” These indisputable facts were disregarded as western economies continued to make their so-called energy transition.
As a result, much of Europe, UK, and North America find themselves in an energy turmoil.
Instead of harvesting their abundance of fossil fuels, these economies are in state of lamentation, desperate for the procurement of the very fuel sources they once despised.
It appears the energy security is beginning to triumph over green-energy-superiority. Let’s hope it isn’t too late.DONATE
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