MARKETING PROSPECTS FOR WESTERN COAL, WITH A SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT ON THE ECONOMICS OF SYNTHETIC FUELS FROM COAL

Data on western coal availability indicate that low cost resources of such coal are in ample supply to meet demand levels implied by recent energy forecasts. An extensive review of the cost engineering literature on electric power plants leads to the conclusion that while nuclear power appears to have a strong long-run position, the data are subject to considerable uncertainty. A regionally disaggregated simulation of electric utility fuel use shows the wide range of possible coal use patterns that could emerge. Lead times are such that a substantial increase of coal use will occur between now and the middle 1980s but the split of markets between eastern and western coal is unclear. Intensified nuclear competition may restrain subsequent growth in the period 1990-2000, but this is not certain. A method for placing different estimates of synthetic fuel costs on a consistent basis and for testing the sensitivity of such costs to coal prices is presented in the Supplement. This method suggests that earlier studies were overly optimistic about the prospects for synthetic fuels.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania State University, University Park

    Department of Mineral Economics
    University Park, PA  USA  16802

    National Science Foundation

    Division of Policy Research and Analysis, 1800 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20550
  • Authors:
    • Gordon, R L
    • Julian, E L
    • Julian, L C
  • Publication Date: 1976-12

Media Info

  • Pagination: 346 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00186689
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NSF/PRA-7520827/1/7 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: NSF-OEP75-20827
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM