From BloombergBusiness (LINK)
Japan’s regional power utilities burned the most coal on record in August, flouting calls from the nation’s environmental minister to rein in use to control greenhouse gas emissions.
The nation’s 10 power utilities used 5.82 million metric tons of coal in August, the Federation of Electric Power Cos. reported Friday. That’s the most in monthly usage since the group started compiling data in April 1972. While total power generation and purchases fell 0.9 percent, liquefied natural gas use slid to the least in August in 5 years and fuel oil to its lowest level for the month in 6 years.Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, a Tokyo-based analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance:
“Coal is still the cheapest fuel source. There is more coal plant capacity available this year than last year in Japan." (bold added)Energy News Source, OilPrice.com, recently announced:
The news for the global coal industry has been painful of late. Coal prices have dramatically decreased nearly everywhere in the world amid considerable oversupply.....Painful to Energy companies, but good news for consumers.
There are many reasons why China’s coal utilization has grown so rapidly to unprecedented levels, up 50 percent to 3.7 billion tonnes since 2005. Coal defines “energy security” in China, making up about 90 percent of the country’s fossil energy reserves. Another reason is China’s massive industrialization over the past few decades—this has also supported urbanization leading cities to grow at a rate of nearly 20 million people a year.OilPrice.com also reports that India will increase coal consumption:
India’s cities certainly face challenges, but access to basic services is far higher than in rural areas. According to the World Bank, in 2012 (most recent data available) less than 70 percent of rural Indians had access to electricity, while over 98 percent of those living in urban centers had access. To increase the living standards of rural Indians, Prime Minister Modi is looking to add electricity from every available source, including 100 GW of solar by 2022 and one billion tonnesof annual coal production by 2019.