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Stable Coal demand seen in next 5 years

/ 05:12 AM December 20, 2018

Global coal demand is forecast to remain stable over the next five years instead of declining partly due to strong growth in Southeast Asia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA said in a new report that in 2018, demand for the fossil fuel was expected to rise for the second year in a row.

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But while coal use is decreasing in Europe and North America, this is offset by increased consumption in India and Southeast Asia.

The stable outlook defies policies related to air quality and climate, campaigns for coal divestment, phaseout of coal-fired facilities, declining costs of renewables as well as abundant supplies of natural gas.

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The IEA said such moves helped reduce coal’s contribution to the global energy mix to an estimated 25 percent in 2023 from 27 percent in 2017.

The Paris-based agency said coal demand was growing across much of Asia due to its affordability and availability.

The biggest increase in demand is observed in India, but the growth rate at 3.9 percent yearly is slowing due to a large-scale expansion of renewables and the use of supercritical technology in new coal power plants.

The IEA also said significant increases in coal use were also expected in Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Pakistan.

“The story of coal is a tale of two worlds with climate action policies and economic forces leading to closing coal power plants in some countries, while coal continues to play a part in securing access to affordable energy in others,” said Keisuke Sadamori, director of energy markets and security at the IEA.

“For many countries, particularly in South and Southeast Asia, it is looked upon to provide energy security and underpin economic development,” Sadamori said.

In light of this, the IEA expects technologies like carbon capture, utilization and storage as essential tools to bridge current and future energy needs with global and national climate ambitions.

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TAGS: coal demand, fossil fuel, International Energy Agency (IEA)
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