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Only a Fool Would Invest in Coal

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted December 2, 2021

Coal is dead.

We’ve been hearing this for a while, and there’s no way to sugarcoat this reality.

While renewable energy production has rapidly increased within our energy economy and natural gas has maintained a strong piece of that pie, coal’s market share has continued to erode. This is due primarily to declining prices in renewable energy and a general move away from the most pollutive form of electricity generation.

But despite losing market share in energy, coal still had unrelenting control of a market that nothing else could touch: steel production. 

Metallurgical coal, which is of higher purity than coal used for energy production, is integral to the production of steel. It always has been, which has allowed this segment of the coal industry to thrive. 

Until now.

Crushing Coal

The future of coal — both thermal and metallurgical — is grim.  

For thermal coal, it’s simply about economics. It simply can’t compete with nuclear, natural gas, and renewables. The mix of those three, along with new storage technologies, makes thermal coal irrelevant. And coal production — particularly in the United States — has been falling rapidly over the past 20 years.

In fact, in 2020, coal production fell to its lowest level since 1965. Take a look...

coaldead

While I’ve long maintained that thermal coal has no future in a new energy economy, I didn’t completely count it out due to its necessity in steel production. But those days are over.

According to a new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, around 70% of steel is currently made in coal-fired blast furnaces. But thanks to a transition to a newer technology that doesn’t rely on coal — which is happening right now, by the way — blast furnace production could fall to just 18%.

Make no mistake, this will absolutely crush the coal industry.

The Shape of Steel to Come

This new technology that can be used to produce steel is mostly being developed in an effort to cut global carbon emissions. 

Bloomberg notes that government and corporate net-zero commitments are pushing the steel industry to cancel out its emissions by 2050, and efforts to decarbonize steel production are central to the net-zero aspirations of China, Japan, Korea, and the EU. And the fastest way to do this is by using what’s known as “green hydrogen,” which will soon be the cheapest production method for steel and quickly capture 31% of the market. 

Meanwhile, another 45% will likely come from recycled material, leaving only a small portion going to older, coal-fired plants. And make no mistake — by then, they won’t be building new coal-fired power plants. To do so would be the equivalent of building whale oil processing facilities today. 

Yes, coal is dead.

Well, not completely dead yet. But it is heading to the ash heap of history. 

Understand, I don’t say this as a criticism of coal. 

Much of our modern society today exists because of the contributions the coal industry has made. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to become irrelevant. 

Things change.

We no longer buy blocks of ice to keep our food cold in ice boxes because we have refrigerators now.

We no longer go to the video store to rent VHS tapes because we can stream movies right to our tablets and televisions.

We no longer use rotary phones because we can use our cellphones that fit into our pockets and can also be used to monitor stock quotes, watch videos, and order food. 

I know some hardline coal investors will read this with disgust, but my only intention is to help you make money. And that’s just not going to happen if you continue to invest in a dying industry. 

Forget coal.  

It’s heading off into the sunset of obsolescence and not worth your time.

Instead, focus on the newer technologies and platforms that are not only going to change the world but also make you filthy rich.

I’m talking about new energy innovations that are replacing fossil fuels with unlimited supplies of cheap, zero-emission fuels...

Private solar deals that allow you to earn monthly dividends on billions of dollars' worth of solar projects across the globe... 

Or even new cryptocurrency plays that make Bitcoin look like wooden nickels. 

Bottom line: Only a fool would invest in a dying technology.

You wouldn’t invest in rotary phones, VHS players, or fax machines, so why would you invest in coal? At this point, it’s just a sucker’s bet.

Invest in the future and prosper. 

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a private investment community that capitalizes on opportunities in alternative energy, organic food markets, legal cannabis, and socially responsible investing. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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