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BP: coal remains key to global energy mix despite efforts to reduce carbon emissions

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

The most up-to-date 2018 edition of the BP Statistical Review, which reflects on global energy figures for 2017, has highlighted a 2.2% growth in global energy demand. BP group Chief Executive, Bob Dudley, said: “2017 was a year where structural forces in the energy market continued to push forward the transition to a lower carbon economy, but where cyclical factors have reversed or slowed some of the gains from prior years. These factors, combined with rising demand for energy, has resulted in a material increase in carbon emissions following three years of little or no growth.”

In 2017, global energy demand grew by 2.2%, above its 10-year average of 1.7%. This above-trend growth was driven by stronger economic growth in the developed world and a slight slowing in the pace of improvement in energy intensity.

Bob Dudley commented: “This year’s Review looks at the energy mix within the power sector, for the first time, which astonishingly shows that the share of coal in the sector is unchanged from 20 years ago.”

“As we have said in our Energy Outlook, our Technology Outlook and now our Statistical Review, the power system must decarbonise. We continue to believe that gains in the power sector are the most efficient way to drive down carbon emissions in coming decades.”


In 2017, coal consumption increased by 25 million t of oil equivalent (mtoe), or 1%, the first growth since 2013. 

Consumption growth was driven largely by India (18 mtoe), with China consumption also up slightly (4 Mtoe) following three successive annual declines during 2014 - 2016.  OECD demand fell for the fourth year in a row (- 4 mtoe).

Coal’s share in primary energy fell to 27.6%, the lowest since 2004. 

World coal production grew by 105 mtoe or 3.2%, the fastest rate of growth since 2011. Production rose by 56 mtoe in China and 23 mtoe in the US. 

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