Coal to overtake oil as main source of energy by 2020
Energy is a hot topic at the moment all over the world. Rocketing fuel bills from major energy companies are making headlines, with heavy criticism levelled at them for the sometimes inexplicable increases. But the way we get our fuel is also a critical debate, with governments across the world placing energy at the top of their agenda at many high-profile meetings. The issues discussed include use of coal and oil, renewable energy sources, carbon emissions and how to reduce them and how to manage domestic and global energy resources.
A Return to Coal
However, recent news that coal is likely to overtake oil as the world’s main source of energy by 2020 could be a worrying development with potentially damaging consequences for the environment. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that coal will be the biggest player in the energy mix in Southeast Asia. China and India are likely to lead this surge in demand, with coal proving a cheaper and often more reliable alternative to oil or renewable energy.
With governments across the world attempting to cut down on the carbon emissions created by coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – the news that demand is set to surge is not good. The US, for example, has been recording excellent statistics in its bid to tackle the problem of emissions and has produced its lowest figures since 1994. This is partly thanks to the introduction of more fuel-efficient vehicles, along with a tendency to use natural gas instead of coal as a fuel.
A Storm Brewing in Stock Markets
Along with the clear implications for the environment, the world’s financial markets may be in for something of a shock should the trend for coal continue to grow. Falling demand for oil will potentially bring down its price, creating havoc on the global markets, which almost base their very existence on price per barrel of oil. Already in something of a weakened position due to the global financial crisis caused by sub-prime lending, financial markets across the world are starting to make some very tentative recoveries. However, these recoveries need firmer foundations on which to grow, and although economies will hopefully be in better shape come 2020, the last thing they need is another body blow on the stock markets.
Essentially, the world needs energy sources to power our lives and with emerging economies rapidly growing their development in terms of technology, there is an ever-increasing demand on our somewhat limited resources. Naturally, countries are turning to cheaper and more reliable options, and it can only be hoped that the world’s financial markets and – more importantly – the world itself doesn’t become a victim of this trend.