Analysts expect continued decline in European coal generation in 2020

first_imgAnalysts expect continued decline in European coal generation in 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:European coal faces another depressing year as natural gas floods the region and clean-energy policies reduce demand for the dirtiest fossil fuel.Coal use across seven European economies fell to historic lows last year, pushing benchmark rates down by almost a third to $62 a ton. The prospects for 2020 are looking equally bleak, with analysts from S&P Global Platts and Capital Economics predicting prices plunging to the $50 mark, the lowest in four years.It’s the latest indication that the economics for burning coal have collapsed in little more than a year since the commodity hit $100 a ton. Europe’s goal of zeroing out carbon emissions by the middle of the century along with ever-cheaper wind and solar power and falling gas prices all point to drastic reductions for generators that burn coal.“Although we saw coal generation pushed to minimum levels in the second half of 2019, it should fall again year-on-year in the first half of 2020 due to low gas and stable carbon pricing,” said Joe Aldina, S&P Global Platts’ head of coal analytics.For most of last decade it was more profitable to burn coal than gas in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy. That relationship was turned on its head last year as imports of liquefied natural gas and mild weather pushed down prices for the cleaner fuel, encouraging utilities to switch away from coal.The gas glut may worsen after last month’s deal between Russia and Ukraine to keep gas flowing to Europe. Construction of another direct route to Europe, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, is expected to finish this year even though the U.S. imposed sanctions on the project.[Jeremy Hodges]More: Coal’s fortunes look bleaklast_img

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