What if Oil Is About to Have a Coal Moment?

It's always good to be wary of wishful thinking, but it's also a good idea to consider of what the world might look like ten to 20 years from now.
February 17, 2017, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Martin Froyda

Sami Grover writes a speculative piece that pieces together recent news about the growing market for electric vehicles and considers a provocative idea: disruption in the oil industry.

According to Grover, "it only took a 10% cut in coal demand to radically slash the coal industry's credit worthiness," and there's been enough recent news consider the possibility that there might be a similar fate, and sooner rather than later, for the oil industry. He lists the following articles as examples:

Although Grover acknowledges that such reports represent only a "blip" for the oil industry's bottom line, "collectively it won't be long before they really start to add up." Also those stories are all about the adoption of electric technologies at current pricing. The current prices of electric technology will not persist, however. According to Grover, "Wards Auto is reporting on conversations with auto industry insiders who say electric vehicle batteries should be under $100 per kilowatt hour by 2020, and $80 not long after that. That's a figure well below the $125 per kilowatt hour that the Department of Energy set in 2010 as a target for cost parity with internal combustion engines."

Grover concludes by listing other possibilities, besides electrification, that could spell demise of the oil industry's current market dominance.

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Published on Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Treehugger
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