Greg Evans, Executive Director – Coal at the Minerals Council of Australia said in a recent statement: “The coal industry strongly endorses the view of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia regarding the critical contribution Australian coal can make to both Asian economic development and within Australia.”
“Coal exports are performing strongly with forecast exports expected to reach A$40.6 billion in 2016-17, up more than A$6 billion compared with 2015-16. Recent state mid-year budget updates showed higher coal prices will deliver a royalty boost to the Queensland and New South Wales treasury coffers in excess of A$1.5 billion in the current financial year alone.”
Evans says the medium and long term outlook is strong. The International Energy Agency reiterated in its latest forecasts in 2016 that strong demand for coal in the pivotal economies of both India and South East Asia would continue.
“Asia has embraced clean efficient coal fired generation with some 725 units in place while a further 1150 installations are under construction or planned, this represents a new build which is 32 times our current coal capacity. Coal is showing it can compete strongly to deliver reliable energy into the future, and utilising the latest high efficiency low emission (HELE) generation technologies it can provide affordable, reliable electricity with low emissions – equivalent to gas.”
“Minister Canavan is correct in identifying the contribution coal fired electricity can make in terms of human and economic advancement in Asia, there is no foreseeable energy source which can deliver at the same level of reliability and affordability. Renewables have a role in developing economies but they won’t able to underpin the required industry development to alleviate poverty and improve living standards.”
Evans concluded: “The scale and nature of economic development occurring in Asia both in terms of energy demand and in coal reliant industries such as steel and cement production is positive for the Australian coal industry and for regionally based jobs and we will continue to work with the Commonwealth and state governments to ensure the industry’s viability and growth.”