KAPSARC held its second workshop on Coal on March 20, 2015 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The session, framed around the question Does coal have a future?, took place at Huys Clingendael, home of Clingendael International Energy Programme. The three-year fall of coal prices has ratcheted up financial pressures on producers and made energy cheaper for consumers. Chinese demand growth has stalled, and domestic producers have been lobbying to place regulations on imported coal. On the other hand, India’s strong appetite for coal and shortage of domestic supply remains the main source of support for international markets. Producers have fought back by implementing cost-cutting measures, and benefitted from cheaper diesel prices and weaker currencies in supply regions e.g. Russia and Australia. These dynamics have shifted the relative competitiveness of different supply regions, which in turn will change coal flows and volumes.
The workshop focused on four key areas: (1) Short and long-term market developments; (2) Coal technologies and efficiency; (3) China and India; and (4) The future of coal.
Participants included over two dozen experts from the US Energy Information Administration, International Energy Agency, Alstom Power, Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), DIW Berlin, Fudan University, Euracoal, Mercuria Energy Trading, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), E.On Global Commodities, SUEK AG, Indonesian Coal Mining Association, Macquarie Securities, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, NERA Economic Consulting, Red Door Research, Protrade.