Coal Is Yesterday

The Motley Fool’s Travis Hoium writes how the coal industry is becoming yesterday’s prime energy source:

Natural gas has led to most of the coal industry’s problems in the past decade, but renewable energy is really the nail in the coffin. Wind and solar are now cheaper energy sources for new power plants than coal, which is why utilities in the U.S. and countries abroad are focusing their development efforts on renewables. 

The core challenge for coal is that wind and solar are already cheaper than coal power and they’re still getting cheaper. Its entirely possible that, solar or wind combined with an energy storage option very well could be coal’s death knell. 

Give Hoium’s piece a read as he gives three reasons why coal has seen its better days.

You have to wonder why certain politicians, like President Trump and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, keep making promises to coal workers that everyone knows can’t be fulfilled.

It’s understandable that coal workers fear the future since working in the coal industry is all they know. What will be left for coal workers once other energy sources become more preferable? It’s not like new businesses will flock to Appalachia to set-up shop.

Then again, perhaps the future ought not be so bleak for West Virginian coal workers.

As renewable energy gains in demand, even states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania will join the movement because they’ll have no choice.

Re-training today’s coal workers to develop the skills needed for a rapidly changing energy sector makes perfect long term economic sense.

Instead of making impossible promises to restore yesteryear, how about painting the stark (and exciting) reality of the future?

pat@wsgw.com

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