Coal The Dirty Fuel why it is in such demand once again?

Looks like coal as a fuel is about to be reborn.

Even though countries around the world have promised to reduce carbon emissions to fight global warming, yet coal, which is called the world’s dirtiest fuel, has been a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Once again in great demand.

Although it is not that everything is going bad, there is some good news about green energy and coal consumption.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that coal consumption is not going to decrease for the next three years and 2021 was a record year in terms of coal consumption.

There was a reason for this too. The world was recovering rapidly after the situation caused by the Corona epidemic. There was bound to be a high consumption of energy.

Gas, wind and solar energy were not enough to meet the huge demand for electricity. That’s why the world started burning coal again despite the opposition of environmentalists.

International Energy Agency report

Regarding coal consumption, the IEA said in its calculation, “After the reduction in coal consumption in the years 2019 and 2020, it seemed that the year 2018 was a record year in terms of demand. But 2021 has met these expectations. Turned out. In 2021, production in coal-fired power plants increased by 9%.

Bad weather in Europe made the situation worse. In recent months, winter has been felt more there. The supply of natural gas was less than expected. Russia supplies a third of Europe’s gas needs. France was undergoing repair work on nuclear power plants.

In these circumstances, the need for coal once again increased. China once again started work on its coal mines, where mining had been stopped earlier. Not only this, he increased the production to the maximum capacity.

China had stopped the purchase of coal from Australia amid diplomatic tensions. But due to high prices in the world market and bottlenecks in the global transportation of goods, China could not meet its coal requirement quickly.

A new trend

It is not that the increase in coal consumption in the post-Covid situation is of a temporary nature. This is a new trend.

The International Energy Agency has warned that dependence on coal is not going to decrease so soon. In the year 2022, the world is going to consume 1.5 percent more coal than last year.

The IEA wrote in its annual coal report, “The way things are going, it indicates that the world coal use will increase to an unprecedented level in the year 2022 and these conditions will remain till the end of the year 2024.”

This is good news for Russia. It is the largest supplier of fossil fuels to the world market and is now increasing both production and export of coal.

According to the IEA report, Russia will increase its coal production by 2.8 percent by the year 2024, while officials in the Putin administration have indicated that Russia wants to double its coal exports in the next 15 years.

But rising global coal consumption is bad news for our climate.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been calling on the global community for years to commit to a halt to coal use. But his appeal does not seem to be having any effect on the ground.

At the climate summit held in Glasgow in November, it was expected that an agreement would be reached in this regard, but everything came to a standstill due to the situation of the Covid epidemic.

How coal is burning its future

However, we have at least one reason not to be disappointed. Now consider it ironic or something, but the rebirth of coal and record natural gas prices threatens to promote green energy in the end.

And this is why in order to run a coal-fired power plant, a European energy company has to purchase quotas for greenhouse gas emissions. The more emissions, the more expensive.

In this way, the European Union is moving industry and energy towards green industry and green energy. The price of this quota is rising so fast that 27 countries of the European Union, in their last summit, even demanded a ban on speculators. He is confident that without the intervention of financiers, the price of the quota of CO emissions per tonne cannot increase. At the beginning of the year, where this price was 31 euros, by the end of December it reached 90 euros. And since November alone it has increased by fifty per cent.

All this makes coal-fired power plants an expensive resource, but for the current natural gas price, coal is still more profitable than clean gas.

Therefore, Europe will continue its coal consumption going forward. Along with this, the price per ton for carbon dioxide emissions will also increase. Furthermore, with an increase in demand, the supply decreases. Because the amount of these quotas is also gradually reduced over time and the European Union is determined to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by the year 2050. And this is a consolation prize for those who fought for not using coal as fuel. Those who fought for clean air but were temporarily defeated. The cost of one tonne of carbon dioxide quota has become so high that the costly green technology has suddenly become profitable. Many such technologies are in the development stage but two main technologies are currently being developed at the industrial level. The first is hydrogen for energy and transportation, and the second is the underground storage of emitted carbon.

Analysts in an FT interview say these technologies are already priced at £75 to £120 a tonne, but for companies that are interested in such investments, emissions will remain at current levels for a few years. should remain.

Who, when and how will pay for quitting the use of coal?

Indeed, quitting using coal will only partially solve the problem of carbon emissions and global warming, as neither Europe nor the US does not use coal as a major factor.

India and China have been given the responsibility to reduce their dependence on coal. According to the IEA, China consumes half the world’s coal and its consumption will increase by one per cent per year in the coming three years. On the other hand, if we talk about India, India is expected to increase by four per cent by 2024.

According to the IEA, “These two countries are the most populous in the world and the total population of these two countries is around three billion and these two countries will decide the future of coal energy in the future. The future of coal as a fuel is this. It depends on how much readiness these countries show to meet their carbon emission reduction targets according to their declaration and how they achieve them.

Both India and China have made promises and both countries have expressed their desire to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate the use of coal in the future. Although there are no clear conditions for this, yes there is an understanding in this regard that they are not going to do this at any cost.

However, India has said that it will achieve the target of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2070. Net-zero means eliminating carbon dioxide emissions.

Developing countries believe that countries with developed economies should pay the bill for the green revolution because emissions during their development process are responsible for global warming. Also because there were no such restrictions or conditions during the Industrial Revolution, they have been able to develop today.

According to the IEA, the use of coal in Europe and America will almost end by the beginning of next year.