Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The coal flip out

I found this chart (from IEEFA) telling.  The black bars represent additions to capacity of coal-fired power stations.  Notice how from 2015-16 to 2017-18 new coal capacity plunges, to be replaced by capacity added in solar.  It's a complete inversion: solar goes from small to dominant and coal goes from dominant to small.  This trend is only likely to continue.  Solar will just go on getting cheaper, coal will remain filthy, polluting, water-guzzling and expensive.  India has just announced a new 100 GW by 2022 solar target.  This is pretty much double the current construction rate.

Within the next 18 months to 2 years, solar will become cheaper than new coal in all the other countries in Asia, especially given the current crash in PV module prices.  Currently, coal is still cheaper than solar, just.  But when the cost of solar drops below coal in these countries, their shares of solar vs coal will also flip.   Steady retirements of coal power stations in developed countries will 
combine with no new coal power stations in developing countries to cause peak coal--in just a few years' time.

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