ourfiniteworld.com: Why World Coal Consumption Keeps Rising; What Economists Missed

Figure 1. World fossil fuel supply based on world production data from BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The industrialization of Asian countries was pushed along by many forces. Companies in the West were eager to have a way to make goods cheaper. Buyers were happy with lower prices. Even the Kyoto Protocol tended to push international trade along. This document made it clear that countries signing the document wouldn’t be in the market for coal. From the point of the developing countries, this would help hold coal prices down (at least in the export market). It also likely meant a better long-term supply of coal for developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol offered no penalties for exporting products made with coal, so it put countries that used coal to make products for export in a better competitive position. This was especially the case if Kyoto Protocol countries used carbon taxes to make their own products higher priced.

Figure 2. Ratio of total energy consumed to oil (including biofuels) consumed, based on BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 3. 2009-2011 Average Real GDP % Growth, Based on USDA International Macroeconomic Data Sets. World GDP reflects 2005$ weighting.

Figure 4. Price per barrel of oil equivalent, based on World Bank data for the period Jan.- Nov. 2012. All prices have been converted to a barrel of oil equivalent basis.

Figure 5. Rough estimate of average cost per barrel of oil equivalent for the various countries and groups shown, based on distribution of fuels used, from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, and prices from Figure 4.

Figure 6. Percentage growth in oil consumption between 2006 and 2011, based on BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Figure 7. World oil price (Brent) in 2011$ from BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy and Leverage based on ratio of total fuel consumption to oil consumption from the same report.

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/12/19/why-world-coal-consumption-keeps-rising-what-economists-missed/

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