Energy Journal: King Coal Still Near Top of the Heap (Wall Street Journal)

From: WSJ

By Ben Winkley

Coal is much maligned, but much in demand.

In a world making noises about a cleaner, greener way, the black stuff is an anachronism—dirty, polluting, the way of the past.

In its favor, coal is cheap, plentiful and there is much existing infrastructure in which to burn it.

As with all forms of energy, China is leading the way on demand. The Asian giant is both the world’s largest consumer and producer of coal, although a slide in the domestic price will feed through to a notable slump in imports this year, Bloomberg reports.

Prospects for coal look bullish—the International Energy Agency predicts it will come close to surpassing oil as the world’s top energy source by 2017 and, if it wasn’t for all the cheap gas reducing demand in the U.S., coal would probably be number one.

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