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Coal demand to increase to 2040

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World Coal,

The long-term future of coal as a major energy source is often portrayed as being at risk; however, the picture is more complex than that, according to a new report from the IEA Clean Coal Centre that looks at the effects of regulatory trends on coal-fired power plants and global coal demand.

“More stringent legislation for coal combustion means that in some parts of the world, notably the EU, coal-fired power providers must either construct state-of-the-art, advanced power plants, invest in retrofitting pollution control technologies for existing facilities or shut down plants altogether,” said the IEA Clean Coal Centre in a press statement on the release of the report.

Despite such measures and the latest commitment to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at COP21 in Paris last year, thermal coal demand will continue to grow to 2040 led by China and India and – to a lesser extend – southeast Asian countries, the report, by Hermine Nalbandian-Sugden, concludes.

“By 2040, forecasts indicate that the share of coal in global primary energy will decline to 24% [from 30% in 2014]. But projections show that global coal demand will increase 15% by 2040, as total energy demand grows,” said the IEA Clean Coal Centre.

Yet this growth will vary greatly between regions. In OECD countries, coal demand is forecast to decline, particularly in the US where electricity generation from coal-fired power plant is expected to fall by about a third over the next decade. “This is due to increased regulation and competition from other fuels,” said the IEA Clean Coal Centre.

“Conversely, coal demand in developing countries is forecast to increse by about one third by 2040 with significant growth in southeast Asia, India, Africa and Brazil,” continued the IEA Clean Coal Centre. “Coal demand in China is expected to peak in 2030.”

The report, ‘New regulatory trends: effects on coal-fired power plants and coal demand’, is available for download from the IEA Clean Coal Centre Bookshop.

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