End of Energy Coal Era

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-11-40-48
M. Sinitsyn, sinitsyn@imemo.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 28.05.2021.

Abstract. The article analyses the process of coal crowding out of the world energy balance. In developed countries, the tendency towards the rejection of using energy coal accelerated in the end of 2000s under the pressure of climatic considerations. The global COVID‑19 pandemic has led to the acceleration of the world energy balance restructuring at the expense of lowering demand for coal. Coal is crowded out from energy consumption for both climatic considerations as well as because of the strong harmful effect of coal power plants emissions on health. Developed and an increasing number of developing countries strengthen and expand complex of measures aimed at coal energy displacement: emissions trading systems and direct emissions tax, Coal Plant Directive and closures of coal mines. Decarbonisation has been accelerated after Pittsburgh Summit (2009) and Paris Agreement (2015). By 2020, developed countries have largely abandoned direct subsidies for coal consumption, and all major international development banks have limited their involvement in coal-fired generation and have stopped considering coal mining projects. Developing countries continue support coal consumption and production in order to maintain economic growth and employment. Excessive supply will lead to overstocking of the coal market, lower prices and slowdown of the decline in coal consumption after COVID‑19. Although several largest economies in the Asian-Pacific Region, primarily China, India and Indonesia, continue to increase coal generation capacities (HELE plants), the analysis in the article shows that after the accomplishment of the recovery growth in the world economy by 2025, global demand for energy coal will start to steadily decline. China announced plans to curtail coal use after 2025, G‑7 decided to stop financing coal projects. Meantime many developing countries with low level of income and modest financial capacities cannot afford to quit comparatively cheap coal quickly as a factor supporting economic growth. Increasing High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions coal plants demand is rapidly rising requirements to coal quality.

Keywords: coal, energy balance, low carbon paradigm, COVID‑19, greenhouse gases emissions, US, China, European Union


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For citation:
Sinitsyn M. End of Energy Coal Era. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 40-48. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-11-40-48

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