If headlines in the media are any gauge, you’d think coal was dead. Or at least, in serious decline.
Here’s a typical example: ‘Coal is dead’: Neoen eyes another $4 billion in Australian investment’ – The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May 2018
They are partly correct.
There is no doubt, wind and solar will play an increasing role globally, well into the future.
But, here’s the nuance: while coal will decline in relative terms, in absolute terms, coal is forecast to grow by hundreds of millions of tonnes per annum.
Energy demand will continue to grow and renewables are forecast to meet 60% of new, future energy demand.
This means coal will continue to be relied upon to provide affordable, reliable base-load power globally, for many decades to come.
According to Coal Swarm, there are around 1200 new coal power projects in various stages of development.
Their list shows 200 of those are in India and 36 in Japan.
None in Australia.
Yet, the below article from the World Coal Organisation highlights the irony.
The value of our coal exports is forecast to overtake the value of our iron ore exports, topping A$58 billion for 2018-19 and once again becoming our single largest export earner.
Our coal will fuel our neighbours’ growing coal-fired power networks, providing affordable, reliable, lower-emission base-load power to their citizens while we suffer from policies that refuse to include HELE power. The same policies that have resulted in run-away electricty costs.
The World Coal article also notes that coal demand across the Asia region is forecast to expand by up to 400 million tonnes by 2030.
The popular claim that coal is dead is, well, dead wrong. It is accurate to say that the growth in coal demand is declining.
You get the picture.
But, what does this mean for our own Coldry and Matmor technologies?
Growth in thermal coal use will increasingly see an increase in lignite use. For countries like India, commitments to reduce emissions intensity mean lignite resource owners will need to find cost-effective solutions. The key to reducing lignite CO2 emissions is drying.
Coldry is the gateway enabler for lower emission, higher value lignite use.
Our Matmor technology is the ideal high-value application for low-value resource owners, enabling the use of lignite in the steel making sector and liberating otherwise stranded low-grade iron ore resources.
Coal to overtake iron ore as Australia’s largest export for 2018-19
According to the latest commodity report from the Department of Industry’s Office of the Chief Economist, coal is forecast to be Australia’s largest export earner for the period 2018-19.