The One Market That’s Sure To Help Coal – by Jude Clemente (Forbes Magazine – August 12, 2018)

“Urbanization helps pull people out of poverty and advances progress towards the Millennium Development Goals,” The World Bank

As still the world’s leading source of electricity (most critically, overwhelmingly so in all-important China and India) at 37-40% of all supply, and still generating 30% of U.S. power, coal is obviously not dead.

But beyond electricity, coal is much more essential to another market than the anti-coal business may realize: the very steel that builds our cities. Apparently, unbeknownst to many, the fact that 70-80 million people move to the world’s cities each year means that coal’s fundamental role in the energy demand system is quite secure.

It’s no wonder then that global steel demand continues to surge to record highs and expected to increase 20% by 2030. Steel is an indispensable material for modern life. It is utilized in literally every important industry.

Metallurgical coal (also called coking coal) is a higher quality coal than the thermal coal (also called steam coal) that is utilized to generate electricity. It is used primarily in steel making and accounts for 10-15% of global coal usage.

About 75% of the world’s steel production uses met coal as a critical ingredient. Here in the U.S., met coal is mostly produced in Appalachia, namely West Virginia. The ultimate irony? “There’s about 150 tonnes of metallurgical coal via steel in an onshore windmill – and 250 tonnes of coal in an offshore one.”

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