Global consumption of commercial energy totalled 18 Gt of coal equivalent in 2010. With a 28% share, coal ranked second after oil as one of the major sources of primary energy and natural gas (at 21%) ranked third. Gross power generation with coal was approximately 41% and gas 22%. Natural gas as a global commodity is growing rapidly with the advent of unconventional sources such as shale gas. Recently, gas has become the fuel of choice for new power generating plants in some countries. Overall production of coal has increased in the same time-frame. The share of coal in electricity production was constant in Europe from early 2000 but recently increased. This was due to the high cost of gas in Europe and a low emissions penalty levied by the regulator, making coal currently more competitive in Europe compared to gas. Coal utilisation continues to increase in Asia but is facing serious competition with gas in the USA, where the share of electricity generated with coal dropped in 2012. However, natural gas used to generate electricity in early 2013 was below the high level seen during the comparable 2012 period, when low natural gas prices led to significant displacement of coal by natural gas for power generation. The current consensus in the USA is that while coal may recover ground in the short term, it loses in the long term as coal plants are retired. The discovery, production and availability of significant amounts of gas have implications for not only the price of natural gas but also the price of coal as well as supply and demand, and utilisation of both fuels internationally. The interaction between coal and gas in the global markets today is investigated in this review and the near-term outlook and impact on both fuels is presented. In this report, reserves, production and trade, supply and demand, pricing, utilisation and consumption, public attitudes and finally near/short to medium-term prospects are discussed for both coal and gas.
Title: Coal and gas competition in global markets, CCC/220
Author(s): Herminé Nalbandian, Nigel Dong
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-9029-540-2
Publication Date: 01/07/2013