Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Fridley, Heinberg discuss 'peak coal' in NATURE journal

Today's edition of the highly-esteemed Nature Journal contains an analysis of global coal supplies by Post Carbon Institute Fellows David Fridley and Richard Heinberg. If you're a subscriber to Nature, you can access the article here. If not, Nature's podcast interview with Richard Heinberg provides an overview.

AUDIO:  "Peak Coal" Nature Journal Podcast with Richard (4 minutes)

Yesterday, Australia's ABC Radio National interviewed Richard about his work featured in the Nature article.

AUDIO: ABC Australia Podcast Interview with Richard Heinberg 

And here's a nuanced take on the issue from Ars Technica. And one from Business Spectator.

A synopsis of the Nature article:

The idea that coal is cheap and plentiful drives much thinking about future world energy consumption. It can explain the resistance of the United States and China to carbon-cutting policies — both countries have lots of coal, and they don’t plan to stop using it anytime soon. But is it a reasonable assumption? Richard Heinberg and David Fridley argue in this week’s Nature that coal prices are likely to start rising much sooner than everyone thinks — perhaps by the end of this decade.

This prediction is based on two observations. First, several recent studies suggest that high-quality accessible coal reserves will run out much sooner than predicted by official forecasts from the main coal-producing countries. Second, global demand is growing rapidly, mainly driven by China. China is both the world’s biggest producer of coal and its biggest consumer. “Its influence on future coal prices should not be underestimated,” say the authors.

The authors call for better data on world coal supplies. A US national coal survey was last completed in the 1970s and is long overdue. Countries should also immediately start planning for higher coal prices, and reconsider their investments in clean-coal technology. If coal becomes more expensive, then carbon capture and storage will no be longer be an economically viable route to reducing carbon emissions. The economic shocks from rising prices would be felt by every sector of society, say Heinberg and Fridley. New limits on energy consumption “will be imposed by energy prices and shortages if they are not achieved though planning and policy”. 

Like this post?

Keep the information flowing: Donate to Post Carbon Institute

Stay connected: Receive our monthly e-newsletter

Reposting: See our reposting policy

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Tags:  

Evidence Released at TransCanada’s Keystone XL Permit Renewal Hearing Sheds Light On Serious Pipeline Risks

Just because TransCanada continually states that the Keystone XL pipeline …

Peak Oil Notes - July 30

Much of the news that will eventually move oil prices came on the …

Higher-risk 'Shallow Fracking' More Common than Suspected: Study

The fracking of oil and gas less than a mile from aquifers or the Earth's …

Shale Gas Reality Check

Recently, the EIA released its Annual Energy Outlook 2015 and so we asked …

The Community Energy Revolution

Impact investing is investing to achieve a return in something you also …

Peak Oil Review - July 27

A weekly review including Oil and the Global Economy, The Middle East & …

Energy Crunch - Green taxes: love or hate?

Green taxes have been under attack on all fronts lately.