As Europe’s energy crisis intensifies, European countries are scrambling to find alternatives to Russia’s coal and natural gas supply. The International Energy Agency predicts that global coal sales will total 8 billion tons in 2022, returning to the record high set in 2013.
Europe’s largest coal-producing country is also short of coal Polish people stay up late to queue up to buy coal
Usually by the current season, Raphael, who lives in Katowice, Poland, is ready for winter, but these days, he can’t even find a place to buy coal.
Raphael Robb of the Polish People:I’ve been trying to buy coal for three months and still can’t get it.
And those without coal reserves can only rely on burning tree branches to keep their homes warm.
Anna from Poland:I don’t have any coal ready this year, we have nothing, no inventory, and no fuel in the warehouse.
As the largest coal producer in the EU, 70% of Poland’s electricity comes from coal, and about 3.8 million households rely on coal for heating. In Podanka, in eastern Poland, people stay up late and wait in line to buy coal because they are worried about the lack of fuel in winter.
Pyotr Macieevski of Poland:It’s so close to my house that I can go back to catch some sleep, but my tractor has to line up for me here.
In order to meet the needs of as many families as possible, a coal mine has been operating two shifts since a few weeks ago, and it is also closed on weekends.
Natural gas heating is too expensive, Germans hoard coal for winter
Recently, the coal supplier Engelke in Berlin, Germany, has been very hot, and the order has been placed in the next month. In previous years, the main buyers of coal were the elderly who lived in old neighborhoods and could only use coal for heating, but this year, there has been an influx of new customers buying coal.
Frischoff Engelke, a coal supplier in Berlin, Germany:An unprecedented number of new customers have come to buy solid fuels. We didn’t know these customers before, and now they’re flocking here, and they all want to buy coal.
Since the German government announced that it will impose a “natural gas surcharge” from October this year, according to this standard, the energy expenditure of a family of four will increase by nearly 500 euros (about 3,450 yuan). In the eyes of consumers, burning coal for heating Obviously the more economical option.
German populace Jean Bloom:This is the first time I’ve bought coal in so many years, and so far I’ve been using gas for heating and wood for the stove. But with gas prices going up, I’m now thinking of burning coal to keep my home warm all night.
Europe’s “hope for coal” is eager to bring fire to the global coal trade
Since the beginning of this year, the coal imports of EU countries have increased significantly. In the first half of the year, EU coal imports totaled 57.6 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 49.6%. Global seaborne thermal coal imports reached 97.8 million tonnes in July, the highest level on record and an increase of more than 9% year-on-year.
Serbian coal carrier Peter Klebers:Before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, only one-tenth of the ships transported coal. Now, that percentage has risen to one in five.