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Coal lumps vs. electrons: How do Chinese bulk energy transport decisions affect the global steam coal market?

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  • Paulus, Moritz
  • Trüby, Johannes

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the ways in which different Chinese bulk energy transport strategies affect the future steam coal market in China and in the rest of the world. An increase in Chinese demand for steam coal will lead to a growing need for additional domestic infrastructure as production hubs and demand centers are spatially separated, and domestic transport costs could influence the future Chinese steam coal supply mix. If domestic transport capacity is available only at elevated costs, Chinese power generators could turn to the global trade markets and further increase steam coal imports. Increased Chinese imports could then yield significant changes in steam coal market economics on a global scale. This effect is analyzed in China, where coal is mainly transported by railway, and in another setting where coal energy is transported as electricity. For this purpose, a spatial equilibrium model for the global steam coal market has been developed. One major finding is that if coal is converted into electricity early in the supply chain, worldwide marginal costs of supply are lower than if coal is transported via railway. Furthermore, China's dependence on international imports is significantly reduced in this context. Allocation of welfare changes particularly in favor of Chinese consumers while rents of international producers decrease.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulus, Moritz & Trüby, Johannes, 2011. "Coal lumps vs. electrons: How do Chinese bulk energy transport decisions affect the global steam coal market?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1127-1137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:33:y:2011:i:6:p:1127-1137 DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.02.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nagl, Stephan, 2013. "The Effect of Weather Uncertainty on the Financial Risk of Green Electricity Producers under Various Renewable Policies," EWI Working Papers 2013-15, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    2. Nagl, Stephan, 2013. "Prices vs. Quantities: Incentives for Renewable Power Generation - Numerical Analysis for the European Power Market," EWI Working Papers 2013-4, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    3. Haftendorn, C. & Kemfert, C. & Holz, F., 2012. "What about coal? Interactions between climate policies and the global steam coal market until 2030," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 274-283.
    4. Grave, Katharina & Paulus, Moritz & Lindenberger, Dietmar, 2012. "A method for estimating security of electricity supply from intermittent sources: Scenarios for Germany until 203011The paper is based on a study of the Institute of Energy Economics at the University," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 193-202.
    5. Christian Growitsch & Harald Hecking & Timo Panke, 2014. "Supply Disruptions and Regional Price Effects in a Spatial Oligopoly—An Application to the Global Gas Market," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 944-975, November.
    6. Paulus, Moritz, 2012. "How are investment decisions in the steam coal market affected by demand uncertainty and buyer-side market power?," EWI Working Papers 2012-3, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    7. Johannes Truby and Moritz Paulus, 2012. "Market Structure Scenarios in International Steam Coal Trade," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    8. Trüby, Johannes, 2013. "Strategic behaviour in international metallurgical coal markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 147-157.
    9. Trüby, Johannes, 2013. "Strategic behaviour in international metallurgical coal markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 147-157.
    10. Franziska Holz & Clemens Haftendorn & Roman Mendelevitch & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2016. "A Model of the International Steam Coal Market (COALMOD-World)," Data Documentation 85, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Clemens Haftendorn & Franziska Holz & Claudia Kemfert & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2013. "Global steam coal markets until 2030: perspectives on production, trade and consumption under increasing carbon constraints," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 4, pages 103-122 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Steam coal market; China; Coal-by-wire; Energy market modeling; Bulk energy transport;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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