After a dismissing year, analysts have said that coal stocks were undervalued, resulting in the shares jumping. As goal prices have hit a 10-year low, many coal companies have closed down mines and cut production. This is because many utilities that used to run on coal have switched to natural gas. Although this has helped customers with energy bills it has had a catastrophic effect on coal companies as they scramble for business overseas.¯¨
Analysts have predicted that with the price of coal being so cheap that they could become a bargain in a year or so, if demand picks up.
The impact of burning fossil fuels to create energy and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is one of the major issues of our time.
The UK is currently in a phase of transition towards a low carbon economy, during this transition there will still be a need for coal. We still have significant coal reserves in parts of the United Kingdom, where it was laid down in prehistoric times, but need to balance its use in generating energy with the recognition of the volume of greenhouse gases it creates.
There are 3 different types of mining for coal;
Deep coal mining or underground mining is the extraction of resources (coal in this case) below the ground surface. Underground mining takes place where it is uneconomical to remove the overburden from the seam. Deep coal mining is very expensive both to set up (initial costs) and also to run the mine (extraction of water and air regulation). This process however has very little effect on any natural habitats and has little surface disruption other than a pit shaft and works.
Surface mining is the extraction of coal from seams lying just underneath the surface of the land. In the UK this practice dates back as early as Roman and Medieval times. Today it is a fast and precise process, ensuring that this precious resource is carefully recovered.
Renewable Energy from coal mining
Coal companies have established their own power generation businesses, which utilizes waste gas from mines to generate electricity.
Although coal may be obsolete in the near future, it will still provide energy in this transition period. Helping the UK’s population heat their homes and provide energy to millions.