Asia, Energy, News, Renewable

Market Update: Coal Production Plummeted in 2016

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s global goal production went down significantly in 2016. The agency collated data from official national data submissions from around 150 countries and published it in its World Energy Balances, a comprehensive study of energy statistics.
Coal production plummeted in China in 2016 by approximately 320 million tons (9%), which is a fall equal to more than the total South African production, the world’s 5th largest coal exporter. Coal production also dropped in other markets, such as the US and Australia, making global production fall by 458 million tons. Chinese output fell due to lower demand for power generation, although the country still uses half the world’s coal. Lower coal demand has also been falling across the OECD, mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Worldwide, global coal consumption went down by about 2% in energy terms despite a rise in India. The move away from coal generation is most obvious within the OECD, where electricity generation from gas last year was almost equal to coal generation for the first time ever. The greater demand for gas also caused some increases in trade, with growth in pipeline gas trade going into the OECD and LNG trade going to Asia. Overall, the increases saw total world’s gas imports go up by about 47 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2016 – around 4.5% higher than 2015.
On top of the growth in gas generation, last year also saw the continued increase of renewable generation across the OECD and in major emerging countries including China. In the OECD, renewables generation grew by 3.8% to account for 23.8% of all electricity produced, its highest share to date. The growth was driven by wind and solar, which saw annual average growth rates of 21% and 43% between 2000 and 2016.

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