Global coal use declining
Worldwide consumption of coal is seen stagnating over the next decade as growth in volume remains “nearly flat” from 2017 to 2022, according to the annual market report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA’s Coal 2017 report shows that the volume of coal consumed globally fell by 1.9 percent to 5.36 billion metric tons of coal equivalent in 2016 alone.
This was attributed to lower gas prices, a surge in renewable energy resources and improvements in energy efficiency.
Also, last year’s decrease marked the second consecutive year of decline, with coal demand going down by 4.2 percent over the last two years, the IEA said.
The Paris-based agency said this “nearly matches” the two-year decline recorded in the early 1990s, which remained the biggest recorded drop since the IEA started compiling statistics more than 40 years ago.
The IEA further said that by 2022, global coal demand was expected to reach 5.53 billion tons in coal equivalent, the same as the average of the last five-year period.
This means that “coal use will have had a decade-long period of stagnation,” the IEA said.
“The energy system is evolving at a rapid pace all around us, with a more diversifying fuel mix, and the cost of technologies going down,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s director for energy markets and security.
“But while everything else is changing, global coal demand remains the same,” Sadamori said in a statement.
Considering the trend, the report predicts that the share of coal in the global energy mix will decline to 26 percent in 2022, from 27 percent in 2016.
In terms of electricity generation alone, coal’s share is expected to settle at about 36 percent by 2022.
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