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.
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Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]
Barrick profit beats expectations as copper, gold prices up
Barrick Gold has reported a 78% jump in first-quarter profit, beating analyst expectations thanks to rising gold and copper prices, and said it was on track to meet annual forecasts.
Production in the second half is expected to be higher than the first, the gold miner said, thanks in part to the ramp-up of underground mining at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania and higher expected grades at Lumwana in Zambia, reports Reuters
Barrick’s first-quarter gold production fell to 1.10 million from 1.25 million ounces due partly to lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in Dominican Republic.
Adjusted profit surged 78% to $507mn in the quarter ended March 31, from $285mn a year earlier, and Barrick announced a 9 cent per share quarterly dividend.
Stronger prices helped boost Barrick’s revenue from its copper mines in Chile, Saudi Arabia and Zambia by 31% from the fourth quarter. Overall earnings per share were $0.29, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $0.27.
“We expect a positive stock reaction to the earnings beat and strong cash flow,” said Credit Suisse analysts.
Potential for South Africa merger
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who has championed mergers across the gold industry, said he backed the idea of South Africa-listed miners Goldfields and AngloGold Ashanti combining.
Speculation has been swirling around the two companies and Sibanye-Stillwater, whose CEO Neal Froneman floated the idea of a three-way merger.
“I’m a South African, and this country has such a great mining history and it would be great to see a real gold business come out of the many failed discussions that we’ve seen,” said Bristow.
Goldfields declined to comment. In a statement, AngloGold Ashanti said it was focused on delivering on its growth plan to unlock value from its portfolio of gold assets.
Bristow also said he had met with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new mines minister and other officials and was continuing to work on getting $900mn belonging to its Kibali mine joint venture out of the country.
“We have a solution, it just needs to be sanctioned by the appropriate authorities which haven’t been around for a while,” he said, referring to a recent government overhaul by President Felix Tshisekedi.