HomeRegional NewsInternationalGlobal demand for coal is decreasing, says new report

Global demand for coal is decreasing, says new report

A new report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified that the use of coal  is declining in major economies and that global consumption will remain sluggish.

Titled, ‘Coal 2017’, the findings state that global consumption fell 1.9% last year to 5.357 billion tonnes, due to the fall of gas prices, the transition to renewables, and advances in energy efficiency, Climate Action Programme reported.

“This decline continues a trend of 4.2% seen over the past two years, and under current forecasts will mean a decade of stagnation for the commodity,” Climate Action added.

The IEA believes that in 2022 coal usage will represent 26% of the global energy mix, down from its current level of 27%. Read more…

However, coal-fired power generation will increase its share of overall power generation by 1.2% per year.

This according to the report will still represent an all-time low for its forecasts of 36% in 2022.

Declining coal consuming economies

The report notes that China, the US and the EU had the largest drop-off in coal over the past year. Increases were seen in India and other developing countries across Southeast Asia.

According to the study, India will see a 4% coal use increase per year for the next six years.

Keisuke Sadamori, the International Energy Agency’s director for energy markets and security 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…but while everything else is changing, global coal demand remains the same”.

Climate Action Programme added that the IEA has in the past been criticised for underestimating the potential growth of renewable energy in favour of traditional forms of generation, such as coal. Greenpeace described one of its recent forecasts as “pessimistic”.


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Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.