Global Coal Use Is UP – So Why Are Wyoming Mines Stuggling?
Good news Wyoming, the world's use of coal is not shrinking, it's growing.
So then why are Wyoming coal mines having so much trouble?
“The historic trends contradict the conventional view that organic generation has been declining, while wind and solar are gaining. According to the data, ‘The share of low carbon fuels (nuclear, hydro, wind & solar) peaked at 36% in 1995, coinciding with COP1 [the first UN conference of parties].’”
According to World Energy Data, coal is still the KING, and on top, worldwide.
In 2022, coal accounted for 35.4% of global electric generation. Close behind it was natural gas (22.7%), hydro (14.9%), nuclear (9.2%), wind (7.2%), solar (4.5%), geothermal, biomass, and other renewables (3.6%).
Over the following 17 years, from 1996 to 2012, organic fuels gained shares.
“Despite this, and the hosting of twenty-seven UN climate conferences, the share of electricity generation by low carbon fuels in 2022 was only roughly equivalent to the peak in 1995.”
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Coal Market Update, coal demand for power generation and steel making ”reached a new all-time high in 2022.”
IEA added, “Coal trade in 2023 is heading back to 2019 volumes.”
So why aren't Wyoming coal mines BOOMING?
“In the U.S., coal demand has been on a downward trend for about 15 years. There have been three significant drivers behind this decline.” (FOBRBS MAGAZINE).
Forbs noted the heaven government subsidies and other incentives for wind and solar.
At the same time heavy-handed federal regulation of coal-fired power plants, including the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, have driven up the costs of burning coal.
But what is happening here in America does not represent what is happening in the rest of the world.
Coal production was mainly boosted by China and India while the United States has been regulating coal almost out of business.
IEA added, “Global coal production is expected to grow further in 2023, driven by an expected strong ramp-up of production in China, India, and Indonesia in the first six months, offsetting declines in the United States and the European Union. Russian coal production is estimated to have recovered somewhat in the first half of 2023.”
OilPrice.com recently noted, “China is building coal-fired power plants at a record clip as it tries to counter the effects of drought on hydropower production.”