We assess the future of coal under alternative climate stabilization regimes, investigating how the quantity and location of future coal production, trade and use depends upon five factors: the supply-side constraint of resource depletion, diversification and deepening of international trade, economic growth, trends in energy intensity, and the availability of coal-fired carbon-free electric generation technology (IGCC-CCS). Using the Phoenix computable general equilibrium model of the world economy, we find that coal is sensitive to demand-side assumptions about economic growth and energy-saving structural or technological change. In a 550 ppm stabilization emission tax scenario, the gobal coal industry initially declines sharply and then rebounds, in 2050 reaching roughly the same size as it is today-but only if IGCC-CCS is available by 2020. Under alternative stabilization regimes, IGCC-CCS penetration is a key influence on production and imports in major coal regions, where it interacts with extraction costs driven by the rate of depletion relative to trade partners.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Atmospheric Science