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Thriving in complex energy markets

As energy markets continue to evolve around the world, liberalizing in countries and sectors previously closed, reforming and evolving in many places that were previously liberalized, there is work to be done to capitalize on the global trends in energy investment. The opportunities for investment are plenty but so are the pitfalls.

PA’s Thriving in Complex Energy Markets series focuses on offering energy investors, governments, regulators and energy providers with insights on assessing market opportunities, evaluating portfolios, and economic due diligence, all with a keen understanding of energy policy and regulation.

PA's interactive energy insights map

PA’s Complex Energy Markets insights map is an interactive tool, designed to show our latest thinking on the current state of global energy markets, market trends for the future, and implications for energy investors.

The map provides insights across areas such as market structure, policy and regulation, commodities, load, infrastructure, and technology, and focuses on over a dozen countries—as well as individualized by power region in the United States—showing the direct and indirect impacts of each trend on each market.

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Featured insight: the future of coal versus gas competition

Low natural gas prices were primarily responsible for the decimation of large segments of the US coal producing sector and the resulting decline in coal consumption over the past five years. In response to the decline in natural gas prices, the rail industry largely failed to reduce its rates and coal producers had limited ability to further reduce pricing. Over the next few years, the key for coal burn will be coal producer and transport responses to changing natural gas prices.

This report explores the topic of how an increase in natural gas prices from the recent range of $2.00–$3.00/MMBtu to $4.00 will affect coal burn for power generation. Discussions will center on questions such as: what would the potential impact of an increase be on coal prices? Is an increase in coal consumption and prices even possible given how many coal-fired plants have closed since 2011? How have coal buyers hedged against this risk? How would coal producers and power generators, including those with nuclear power, be potentially affected?

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