Chapter 4: Global steam coal markets until 2030: perspectives on production, trade and consumption under increasing carbon constraints
The development of global coal markets has a major impact on CO2 emissions and is therefore key to any climate policy effort. Economic development and the increase of energy demand have spurred the use of fossil fuels, and in particular coal, over recent years, mainly in emerging countries, while some industrial countries foresee the end of coal power in their national energy mix (e.g. the UK and Germany). Consequently, aggregate greenhouse gas emissions from the coal sector are increasing. International coal trade has also undergone substantive change over recent years, with a shift of the focus from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The traditional production and trade patterns, for example with South Africa as the main supplier to Europe, are in the process of breaking up. At the horizon of 2020 or 2030, global steam coal flows are redirected, largely driven by energy demand in India and China. This chapter provides an overview of the global market and drivers of steam coal, with a special focus on the changing structures of this market and the effect of different climate policies until 2030. To this end, we have developed a partial equilibrium model of the world’s steam coal markets, which can be used to answer the questions raised. Our hypothesis is that a steam coal market will play an important role in future energy market structures, mainly in the Pacific basin, and that there are close interactions between climate policies and the global steam coal market.
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