NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden -“Does Anyone Love Coal?”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if anyone loves coal.  Mike, for decades coal dominated the energy sector, but its use has dropped off considerably in recent years.  Is there a future for coal?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. US has world’s largest supplies of coal
  2. But coal suffers from being a high pollutant
  3. There is technology to reduce the pollution from coal, but can double the cost of using it
  4. As natural gas has become more abundant and cheaper, see it being used more in US, and so coal usage has dropped
  5. Usage has also dropped in Europe and even in China
  6. Still, coal’s share of world energy use is expected to fall from 30% to only 25% in a couple of decades
  7. For a low-income country that values growth over the environment, coal is cheap, abundant, and reliable
  8. So has a future
  9. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service