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President-elect Trump has promised to resurrect the coal sector — a move that is possible only if the carbon emissions released by the commodity can be captured and stored. The issue is now getting aired in Marrakech where countries are meeting to discuss how they plan to comply with the Paris climate accord.
Coal is not clean. But that does not mean that it could not be made cleaner. And that’s relevant because much of the developing world will remain dependent on coal, as will most developed nations to a lesser degree. At issue then is whether carbon capture and storage is technically possible and if so, at what cost.
Mark Repsher commented: “With the exception of Asia and potentially Latin America, we see coal as continuing on its descending glide path partially due to the Paris accords but more so due to the increasing cost, complexity and financial risk of building such facilities. Also, the potential proliferation of the lower cost of natural gas supply across the globe will have the same effect.”
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Mark added: “Certainly, the new (Trump) administration may push out some retirements if current and pending environmental regulations are canceled or delayed, but this will only delay the inevitable for more marginal coal-fired facilities. It is unlikely to change the calculus when deciding whether to pursue new coal-fired resources.”