Source: Greenpeace via Power Past Coal

In a detailed blog post, Power Past Coal lays out the factors contributing to the global collapse of coal starting with wildly inaccurate forecasts about China’s appetite for coal and how its slowing economy and increased focus on pollution and renewables asa a solution tanked many investments. As China’s demand fell, the rest of the world followed suit, to the point of seeing global coal markets entering “a period of terminal decline.” The effect was amplified by coal producers, who in the lucrative years saw dollar signs tied to robust exports to China, had over oversupplied. Mining companies in Australia, Indonesia, the United States and other places went gangbusters to meet a temporary peak in demand that was not real. Prices of thermal coal for the Pacific market peaked in early 2011, then quickly declined below levels that allowed them to make a profit. Analysts such as Bernstein, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs have all issued very pessimistic forecasts on Asian coal demand and the prospects for U.S. exports.

– via Power Past Coal / Ross Macfarlane
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