What is going on with coal generation in Europe?
Coal generation in Europe has fallen consist...
Coal generation in Europe is falling and will continue to face a difficult outlook, according to The EIU
Coal generation in Europe has fallen consistently since 2013!
The UK has been the biggest player on this front, combining with falls elsewhere to bring power generation in Europe well below 25 percent.
With competition from natural gas and renewables, weak electricity consumption growth and policy levels at EU and national level – coal looks set to struggle to maintain its share of generation in Europe.
These are the headlines flying out of the new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), launched this week.
Coal use in the power sector did increase in Europe in the first few years of the decade, but this was a temporary phase and the longer-term trend of gradual decline in the region has resumed.
In the last two years, the retirement of coal capacity in the UK has driven the fall in coal generation in Europe, largely driven by the UK's own carbon price floor.
Falls in coal use elsewhere have been incremental, but in the Netherlands and Germany some steps have been taken to reduce coal capacity while smaller coal users such as France and Finland have pledged to phase out coal generation as well.
"An inflection point has been reached where some states in the region are becoming more pro-active in addressing reliance on coal-fired power," says Peter Kiernan, Lead Energy Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit.
In exploring the policy and market landscape for coal generation in Europe, the report argues that while EU-wide policies such as emissions reduction targets, renewables mandates, air quality directives and the emissions trading scheme have set the framework for de-carbonisation of Europe's power sector, directly addressing the issue of coal reliance has been largely left to member states.
Yet given the overall policy climate and market conditions that are emerging the report argues that coal generation in Europe is likely to face a constrained environment going forward.
Coal generation in Europe is heavily concentrated in less than half a dozen states, meaning that policies that address unabated coal usage among the region's major coal users stand to make a significant difference to Europe's coal reliance overall.
Read the complete report here.
The January 2017 issue of Mining Global is live!
Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.