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:  

Oil, Interest Rates and Debt

At first glance it is hard to see how oil, interest rates and debt are …

Peak Oil Review - June 27 2016

 A weekly roundup of peak oil news, including: -Quote of the week -Oil …

Brexit and the energy equation

Neglected in the analysis of Brexit is the role energy supply and prices …

BP: Global Coal Use Fell by Largest Recorded Margin in 2015

Global coal use fell by more than 70 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) …

Peak Oil Review: A Midweek Update - 23 June 2016

 A midweek update. The oil markets are still dominated by the …

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Reactors to Be Replaced With 100% Renewable Energy

An historic agreement has been reached between Pacific Gas and Electric …

Renewable Electricity: Falling Costs, Variability, and Scaling Challenges

The universal availability and use of electricity has come to define modern …