Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rumors of the Coal Industry's Looming Death Are Greatly Exaggerated -- IEA

China's appetite for coal, even in the face of international pressure for reducing carbon emissions, will help push the world to a consumption record of 9 billion tons by 2019, according to new projections released Monday morning by the International Energy Agency.

In fact, IEA projects that rising coal consumption across Asia and other parts of the developing world will largely offset declines in coal use in the United States and Europe, where economic and regulatory headwinds have cut deeply into coal's market share for power generation.

"Despite the public image of a dying industry, coal is still the backbone of electricity generation worldwide -- not to mention steel production -- and produces more than 40 percent of power generated worldwide," the Paris-based agency said in its latest "Medium-Term Coal Market Report."

Moreover, the agency said, "Coal is abundant and affordable, it is easy to store and transport, and there are no geopolitical issues in the coal supply chain."

In addition to China's continued strong demand for coal in the near term, IEA forecasts that India and Southeast Asian countries will see "remarkable" growth in coal consumption, with India expected to become the world's largest importer of thermal coal and second largest consumer of coal, a position currently held by the United States.

Among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states, Japan, South Korea and Turkey are also projected to increase their use of coal to meet rising energy demand, according to IEA.

"We have heard many pledges and policies aimed at mitigating climate change, but over the next five years they will mostly fail to arrest the growth in coal demand," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement timed to the release of the report.

Read more at Rumors of the Coal Industry's Looming Death Are Greatly Exaggerated -- IEA

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