Seeking Alpha

China plans to cut coal use, shut polluters, to improve air quality

  • China says it will aim to reduce its coal consumption to below 65% of its total primary energy use by 2017, releasing a set of new measures to improve air quality including a target to cut the density of PM2.5 and other harmful particulates in city areas by more than 10% from 2012.
  • Coal (KOL) currently produces ~70% of China's power; its heavy reliance on cheap fossil fuel energy and high densities of PM2.5 - dangerous particulates with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns - have caused serious air pollution and health problems.
  • WLT -3.8%, BTU -0.6%, CNX -0.3%, ACI -1.9%, ANR -2.2%, JRCC -3.2%, YZC -3.1%.
Comments (28)
  • Dang coal getting beat up 2 days in a row in news...
    12 Sep 2013, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • Haha. SeekingAlpha aka SeekingFraud you can do better for your short position. Citing non-credible chinese news-paper links. Joke.
    12 Sep 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • I locked in my gains today. These seem to be trending lower now. No need to be greedy.
    12 Sep 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • that article says beijing as in the municipality, not beijing as in the representative of the republic of china. this article is only talking about the city of beijing.
    12 Sep 2013, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • oh.. wow that is misleading then SA should really correct its headline..
    12 Sep 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • It's not just Beijing, here's the quote from the article.


    "Beijing's action plan for clean air echoed a national air pollution prevention and treatment plan, which was also released on Thursday on the central government's website."
    12 Sep 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • So Beijing is just re-iterating what the national gov stated? lol
    12 Sep 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • FCOL, by saying Beijing's action is like saying Washington's action ... both imply national decree.
    12 Sep 2013, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • I think Beijing has more of an ability to make a sweeping policy by national decree than Washington. I just wish their goals were a little more aggressive!
    12 Sep 2013, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • yeah I watched cctv last night and they spoke about it. I believe they want to cut coal electric output from 75% to <65%. They kept showing bejing and spoke of only bejing and north of bejing city. People walk around with mask and their city has a lot of smog: it looked ugly!
    12 Sep 2013, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • of course walter energy getting hit the hardest which has the least exposure to thermal coal exports of all the names. go figure
    12 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • agreed this should obviously affect thermal heavy coal names more so then met heavy plays... but the market doesn't seem to understand what they invested in
    12 Sep 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • China has excess Solar capacity. These companies need customers. China will provide the market for them.
    12 Sep 2013, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • China is all about efficiency, often at the expense of quality and the environment. There is no way China is going to move heavily into an inefficient energy source like solar, before the technology improves, when coal and nat gas are potentially much cheaper. And neither will the U.S., but it appears we will go bankrupt trying.
    12 Sep 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, China is about efficiency. The coal plant restrictions are only around major cities where air quality is beyond bad. This will not end coal in China, just moderate it. China flooded the global solar market and destroyed margins. Now they have major investment in, and oversupply of solar. They will generate a market for solar domestically.
    19 Sep 2013, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • You hit the nail top-dead-center wigit5, and in-time China's huge number of projects including ship building needs steel...and plenty of it...WLT is almost entirely a metallurgical coal producer and will see better days.
    12 Sep 2013, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Couple of comments:


    I figured out where some of the confusion is coming from. The article linked in the Current discusses what the Beijing municipality is planning to do. An associated, but separate article from that website, talks about the national plan


    Re: snarky remarks @ why these moves are being undertaken, I suggest you do some Googling on air pollution in China -- read some of the articles and look at the images.


    The goal is to cut coal use from 70% of primary energy to 65%. When you consider the absolute growth in China's power capacity, the piece of pie for coal is still growing.


    China is growing so fast, it's pursuing a true "all of the above" strategy -- coal, natgas, nuke, solar, wind.
    12 Sep 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • thanks tricky for doing all that clears up most if not all of the confusion and I agree 65% is still avery healthy piece of the pie.
    12 Sep 2013, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • good points tricky. much of china's air pollution and water problems are due to the fact that their coal plants are truly "dirty" compared to modern U.S. "clean coal" plants and the fact that they use coal that contains higher levels of sulfur than what is commonly used elsewhere. much confusion exists in the polluting effect of modern coal plants because many have sought to confuse the issue by labeling CO2 as being "dirty". Nothing could be farther from the truth although there are still many that believe it does contribute to "global warming" or "global cooling" or "climate change" or whatever they call it now.
    12 Sep 2013, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky


    have you read anything on China's met coal production or consumption?
    12 Sep 2013, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • @wil3714 -- no, haven't.
    12 Sep 2013, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • The policy includes regions outside Beijing, including the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta, major industrial regions accounting for more than half of Chinese coal imports - more details in the WSJ article
    This is another wake up call for coal mining companies that have been planning for continually growing Chinese coal demand, following last week's report from Citi, "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China"
    12 Sep 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • The comments section is more interesting than the article this time around. Unusual!


    And re a "healthy" share of the energy pie at least it provided me with a laugh which is healthy :-)


    Also re global warming it sounds like there are still a few with their heads in the coal err, sand. And that is not funny!
    13 Sep 2013, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • zeiler, maybe you haven't heard, but the facts continue to challenge the global warming story. Don't believe in something just because it seems like everyone else does.


    No noticeable change in global temp since 1997 despite huge rampup of CO2 admissions.


    Arctic ice grew by record levels this year.
    13 Sep 2013, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • I think it's impossible to prove one way or another that what the earth experiences in terms of climate change is not just it's natural cycle... Humans haven't been studying/keeping records long enough. In a thousand years maybe we'll have enough data...
    13 Sep 2013, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Not even Obama believes this hoax anymore, and surely Al Gore doesn't either. If Obama believed it, why would he exempt airlines, which are responsible for 5 percent of the entire world's carbon emissions? But then again, liberals love to fly around in private jets and if we believe what they say, they are wreaking havoc on the environment and must pay for the effects. The cost of flying around in a private jet would double? triple?


    13 Sep 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • good point wigit. if the earth had gone through cycles of climate change before, like long periods of tropical temps or long periods of ice ages, we could say for sure that this natural cycles are real. Oh wait...
    13 Sep 2013, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • zeiler, here is some info about the UN's latest report on global warming. I'm afraid it is not us who may have their heads wherever you're suggesting. You may be behind the curve but that's ok. We're to help. It would be nice to hear back from you. Looking forward to it.
    14 Sep 2013, 11:35 PM Reply Like
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