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Can a President Trump deliver on his promise to revitalize the US coal industry?

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Report summary

Donald Trump aims to take advantage of Democrat party antipathy to coal by courting miners with promises to revitalise the industry. He will find this difficult to do for both technical and political reasons. Coal consumption is being hurt by the combination of coal mine productivity improvement low cost alternatives to coal such as natural gas rapidly maturing renewable technologies and more efficient use of coal. Added environmental pressures reflected in a multitude of government programs and initiatives have further worsened coal s performance. Trump cannot counter the technical advances industry has made that lower coal consumption. Significant new demand in unlikely. Coal will remain under significant pressure. Trump can however take political steps that will stabilize the industry and create a more orderly environment for the long transition from coal.

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Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:

Images

  • US coal production and nat gas price (Mst, $/mmBtu)
  • US coal employment, productivity and coal intensity (000s, stpd, ktoe/US $ Bn)
  • Levelized cost of electricity: solar PV w/o investment tax credit and coal without carbon cost ($/MWh)
  • Levelized cost of electricity for wind w/o production tax credit and coal without carbon cost($/MWh)
  • Levelized cost of electricity: solar PV w/ investment tax credit and coal w/ carbon cost ($/MWh)
  • Levelized cost of electricity for wind w/ production tax credit and coal w/ carbon cost($/MWh)

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