Coal remains a major fuel in global energy systems, accounting for almost 40% of electricity generation and more than 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
Coal 2019, the latest annual coal market report by the IEA, analyses recent developments and provides forecasts through 2024 for coal supply, demand and trade. Its findings should be of interest to anyone interested in energy and climate issues.
The report finds that the rebound in global coal demand continued in 2018, driven by growth in coal power generation, which reached an all-time high. Although coal power generation is estimated to have declined in 2019, this appears to have resulted from particular circumstances in some specific regions and is unlikely to be the start of a lasting trend.
Over the next five years, global coal demand is forecast to remain stable, supported by the resilient Chinese market, which accounts for half of global consumption. But the report notes that this stability could be undermined by stronger climate policies from governments, lower natural gas prices or developments in the People’s Republic of China.