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Updated Jan 10, 2023

World's coal consumption set to reach new high

The world's coal consumption is set to reach a new high in 2022, a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report has discovered.

The report, named "Coal 2022", outlines an analysis of recent trends in coal demand, supply, trade, costs and prices against a backdrop of rising concern about energy security and geopolitical tensions. It also provides forecasts to 2025 for demand, supply and trade by region and by coal grade.

Coal use is only set to rise marginally by 1.2% in 2022, but it is enough to make it to an all-time high amid the energy crisis. The report outlines that if greater action is not taken to move to clean energy the world's coal consumption will stay at similar levels in coming years.

The rise in prices for fossil fuel means many have switched from gas to coal, which is seen as a more price-competitive option. However, this is being countered by high coal prices, a push for renewable energy, and improved energy efficiency.

According to the report, China is accountable for 53% of global coal consumption, and long lockdowns due to Covid-19 have impacted economic activity and coal use during 2022. Droughts and heat waves in China have also meant more coal being burned to meet power demands for air conditioning, so this has balanced out some of the demand for coal.

The report is not all bad news with the IEA report stating "Governments, banks and investors – as well as mining companies – continue to show, in general, a lack of appetite for investment in coal, particularly thermal coal".

To read the report in full, go to the IEA website.