03 Jul '12, 4pm

Coal and China: Bad, but maybe not as bad as you think

Coal and China: Bad, but maybe not as bad as you think

This is part two of my interview with Michael Liebreich, head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. See part one . Michael Liebreich. Q. The coal industry says the natural gas boom will burn itself out and coal will have a resurgence. Plausible? A. The median age of a U.S. coal plant is something like 41 years. Once they’re shut down, it’s hard to see them being mothballed, lovingly maintained by really old caretakers, and then being unmothballed. I’m seeing it as a sunset for traditional, old-style, inefficient coal plants. Is it possible they’ll start building new supercritical and ultracritical plants? It’s just possible, but I don’t think it’s very likely. It’s more of a tobacco model: The tobacco companies realize the jig is up in terms of recruiting kids in the U.S., so they focus on the developing world. They’ll be trying to export their coal to Asia. Demand in the U.S. ...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/coal-and-china-bad-but-ma...

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