The End of Coal Could Be Closer Than It Looks
Despite a pessimistic forecast, it’s possible to meet consumption-cut targets on the current path. By David Fickling <www.bloomberg.com/opinion/authors/AQrSL0m_2u4/david-fickling> October 9, 2018, 7:04 AM GMT+2
Dramatically cutting coal consumption isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian. Read more opinion <www.bloomberg.com/opinion/authors/AQrSL0m_2u4/david-fickling>Follow @davidfickling on Twitter
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Should we just give up now?
The world’s electrical utilities need to reduce coal consumption by at least 60 percent <report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf> over the two decades through 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change that could occur with more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced Monday <www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-08/scientists-call-for-2-4-trillion-shift-from-coal-to-renewables?srnd=climate-changed> . Long Goodbye
Thanks to expansions in China and India, BNEF expects coal-fired generation to keep rising until 2027
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Such a target seems wildly ambitious: Even Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tends to be more optimistic than other analysts (and more accurate) about the speed of energy transition, expects coal-fired generation to increase by 10 percent over the period. Hold on though. Is it really such a stretch?