fredag 11 mars 2016

Kol ersätts av LNG som får kanske 6-8 år i rampljuset...

Ju mer jag läser ju mer inser jag att bolag som Cheniere och de australiensiska 150-200 miljarder kronors LNG projekten (som pågår) knappast kommer få några efterföljare.

Tvärtom, rimligen är det tvärstopp på nya LNG projekt men precis som i fallet nya kärnkraftverk så är detta supertankers som svänger... dvs vi pratar 5 om inte 10 år bort innan vi ser effekten av tvärstoppen idag.

Priset på vind och sol är på väg att bli så lågt att jag personligen tror man kan glömma +10 usd för LNG (idag 5-6 usd) vilket krävs för de här bjässeanläggningarna ska fungera. Inte riktigt lika löjligt som när man vill bygga kärnkraft som kräver över 1 kr/kWh men ändå osannolikt.

Jag tror vi har en boom i LNG (volymer) kommande... säg... 5-6 år men jag har inte lika lätt att se volymerna öka därefter och jag tror inte heller det är jätteönskvärt för världen att göra de investeringarna. Som placerare och ekonom har jag otroligt svårt att se att något kan konkurrera med t.ex vindkraft eller sol från säg 2025. Vid det laget lär elnäten mellan länderna, smart grids inom länderna inklusive stimulanser till varierande förbrukning med pris vara fullt utbyggda.

Så mitt råd är nog att utöver att undvika allt som har kopplingar till kol, även undvika alla amerikanska bolag som har kopplingar till utbyggnad av LNG fabriker och att gå i Chernieres fotspår:

Flytande LNG tillverkning bör ha en mycket bättre framtid. Vad jag förstår indikerar Golar att detta är en bra idé hela vägen ner till 5 usd per mbtu dvs halva kostnaden mot landbaserade bjässeprojekt.

The world is facing “a long, slow secular decline” in thermal coal used for generating electricity, Moody’s said. Translation: Prices are unlikely to recover, ever.

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Oversupply is the immediate culprit. After growing at breakneck pace since the turn of the century, China’s economy is running out of steam, and that has hollowed out global demand for virtually every commodity, especially coal. Worldwide consumption of coal peaked in 2013 at 7.8 million tonnes (about half of that in China); in 2014 it fell 0.9% and was down as much as 4% last year.
It’s not just the cycle. The situation for coal power is exacerbated by the rapid decline in the cost of renewable energy such as wind and solar and which are now cost-competitive.
And then there’s the long-term thorn in the industry’s side: burning coal is the single-biggest contributor of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And there is a widening consensus among not just scientists and environmentalists, but policymakers, the public, business leaders, insurers, shareholder groups, investment funds, even central bankers, that if anything’s to be done about global warming, it must start with the elimination of coal as a power source.
This realization was manifest in the just completed COP21 climate meetings in Paris and the resulting Paris Agreement, approved by 195 countries, including Canada, the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter. The agreement’s underpinning is a collective pledge to act to hold the rise in average global temperatures to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The pact only becomes binding on member states once 55 parties who produce more than 55% of global greenhouse gases have ratified it. But the market in many ways already reads it as a done deal, acknowledging that the shift to lower-carbon economies and societies is inevitable.
Some jurisdictions, of course, such as Ontario, have already abandoned coal power. But many more have recently announced timetables to join them, including the United Kingdom, New York State and the province of Alberta. In November, Alberta premier Rachel Notley unveiled a climate plan, promising to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands and to phase out altogether the province’s coal-fired power plants by 2030. Critics have taken her to task, but the plan won broad support from both environmental groups and industry.

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On the flip side, China’s coal consumption is still massive and will be for some time. Likewise, India intends to increase its coal generation and domestic coal production significantly to deliver growth for much of its remaining underdeveloped population. Those trends mean that while there was a net drop in global coal production in the past two years, overall coal production may continue to grow modestly until the full transition takes hold. Or not: in December the International Energy Agency cut its 2020 forecast for global demand by 500 million tonnes (about 5%). According to IEA’s senior analyst Carlos Fernández Alvarez, there’s no doubt that coal is on its way out. “The question,” wrote Alvarez in a 2015 report, “is how fast it will happen.”

On top of that, a number of technological developments in recent years have eroded or even eliminated coal’s prized position as the cheapest fuel. Not that long ago setting up solar panels was a rich man’s hobby, a niche business that couldn’t exist without government subsidies. But thanks to major improvements in efficiency, it’s now competitive with coal in many parts of the world. Solar electricity generation globally has grown at an annual rate of 50% for the past decade, the fastest of all energy sources, according to the Canadian Solar Industries Association. The numbers for wind are impressive as well. Canada ranks seventh in the world for total installed energy capacity, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association. In 2015, wind supplied about 5% of electricity demand, enough to power three million homes.
But right now the biggest threat to coal is natural gas. Thanks to the fracking revolution in the U.S. and the huge amounts of previously inaccessible hydrocarbons that have been unleashed, natural gas prices have plummeted to the point where it’s more competitive than coal. In terms of emissions as well, natural gas is superior. In the U.S., many coal-fired power plants have already been converted to natural gas and other countries are going the same route.
Indeed, after China, a big part of the coal story is unfolding south of our border. The U.S. is a giant as well, the world’s second-largest producer and consumer. But the industry has fallen as fast and hard as anywhere. In the past five years, U.S. electricity generation from coal has tumbled from 50% of the total to just 34% in 2015. Even more ominous from an industry perspective was President Barack Obama’s decision in January to impose a three-year moratorium on new leases for coal mined from federal lands.
The fallout from all of this has been devastating. Take Peabody Energy Corp., the country’s biggest producer. As recently as 2012 Peabody, based in St. Louis, Mo., had a market value in the billions with shares changing hands at US$1,000. But after hemorrhaging thousands of jobs and slashing billions of dollars of operating costs it fell to US$2.15 a share in early February. A giant question mark hangs over its future.
Arch Coal Inc. is just behind Peabody in terms of size but it’s a few steps further down the road in terms of evolution, having filed for protection from its creditors in January. It joins fellow behemoths Walter Energy Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and Patriot Coal Corp. In fact, more than one quarter of U.S. coal production is now in bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The situation in Canada is not much better. Former major producer Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S) hived off its coal business and sold it for $946 million back in 2013—a move that Sherritt must be feeling pretty good about today. Half of those assets went to Westmoreland Coal Co., a U.S. producer that has been quietly snapping up struggling competitors as part of a bet that coal will come back into fashion.
If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the Canadian coal industry is less dependent on thermal coal and less burdened by debt than its counterpart south of the border, according to Robin Campbell, president of the Coal Association of Canada. That’s given players more time to batten down the hatches—more rope to play with—but the mood is still grim.
One of the few industry chief executives who agreed to give us his take on the industry was David Turnbull of Hillsborough Resources Ltd., a Vancouver Island producer that boasts the closest operating mine to the West Coast in North America. A producer of thermal coal, Hillsborough is owned by Vitol Group, a privately held Swiss trading company. But the day we spoke to Turnbull, he informed us the mine had just been put up for sale.
“We have a number of people who are interested in purchasing it,” he says, declining to elaborate. Conditions in the market may be depressed “but it is a cyclical business,” he adds.
At one time, coal-fired generating stations dotted all of western Canada, but they’ve been disappearing, completely gone in B.C. Turnbull is confident that coal is not going away as a power source. “There’s over seven billion tonnes used per year,” he says. “It may be a business that’s changing, but there’s still a lot of coal being used, whether people like it or not. The world is continuously changing. Some places will use more coal going forward and some places will use less.”
“I definitely don’t see the government backing down,” says Ben Thibault, director of the Pembina Institute’s electricity program. “People increasingly understand the pollution issues. There’s strong public support for closing coal plants.”
It gets even more interesting on the capital markets side, where institutional investors such as big pension funds are scrutinizing their holdings through a responsible, risk-adjusted lens, jettisoning companies that fail to pass muster. In many cases, clients demand it.
Sustainalytics is a research firm focusing on responsible investment, analyzing companies based on ethical, environmental and governance performance. Founded in Toronto back in the 1990s by Michael Jantzi, the company now boasts offices around the world. According to Jantzi, the investing public has come to the realization that burning coal to generate power needs to stop. “For a lot of longer-term investors, the industry has become a pariah,” he says.
“All these things led to the consistent downward trend in the share prices of coal companies,” he says. “What we tell our clients is that there is no question we are in a down-cycle, but that this is a spiral that the industry may not be able to come out of.”

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