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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beijing BANS COAL!

This is great news.  Another chapter in the world's quest to close down coal-fired plants.

Will it make a big difference in Beijing's air quality?   Somewhat doubtful.  But, if closing down these remaining plants is part of a much larger plan to improve the environmental conditions in China, particularly around their urban centers, it is a very positive first step.



The use and sale of coal in Beijing's six main districts and other regions will be banned by the end 2020.
  
According to Xinhua News Agency, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau will end coal's reign of choking terror in the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in an effort to reduce air pollution.
  
Accounting for 25.4 percent of Beijing's energy consumption in 2012; coal's share is expected to drop rapidly - to less than 10 percent by 2017.
   
The coal industry has received a number of black eyes recently. India, a major destination for United State's coal, recently announced plans to double its tax on coal to finance renewable energy projects.
   
The price of coal is decreasing, but so too are the share values of the companies digging it up. To add to the industry's woes, some high profile investors such as 
Stanford University have announced they will divest of any current direct holdings in companies with a primary function of coal extraction.
     
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time and earlier this year, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said major coal projects relying on new export markets such as India are a huge financial risk . 
    
While the future of coal in India and China - may be uncertain, the solar industry in both nations will continue to boom. India has set a target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 - more than 6 times greater then Australia's current solar capacity. 
    
According to People's Daily Online, China's central energy authority has announced a goal of installing 13 gigawatts of new PV power capacity this year.
    
The news from China saw the share value of Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE); parent of the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, rise 4.4% and Daqo New Energy (NYSE: DQ) also experienced a boost.

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