Although demand for coal in the United States and Europe is expected to decline, the global outlook is expected to increase until 2023 as growth in India and other Asian countries offsets the declines elsewhere, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA report found that consumption of the fuel is expected to rise by an average of 0.2 percent a year from 5,355 Mt (5,900 million st) of coal equivalent in 2017 to 5,418 Mt (5,972 million st) in 2023, the Paris-based agency said.
The report comes days after nearly 200 countries agreed to rules for implementing a landmark climate deal aimed at curbing emissions from fossil fuels to keep global temperature rises this century well below 2 degrees Celsius, Reuters reported.
“Despite significant media attention being given to divestments and moves away from coal, market trends are proving resistant to change,” the report said.
Coal remains the second-largest global source of primary energy, behind oil, and the largest source of electricity.
For the world to meet its climate goals, more work is needed to develop carbon capture, storage and use (CCSU) technology which captures and then either stores carbon dioxide underground or uses it in other industries, the IEA said.
“Simply put - to meet our sustainability goals, there can be no future for coal without CCSU,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.
Just 18 large-scale carbon capture and storage plants are in operation around the world, according to the Global CCS Institute.
Coal consumption in China is projected to fall 0.5 percent per year to 2,673 Mt (2,946 million st) in 2023, driven in part by efficiency improvements and policies to curb air pollution.
A sharp increase is predicted for India, with demand rising by 146 Mt (161 million st) to 708 Mt (780 million st) coal equivalent in 2023, boosted by a rise in coal-fired power output and production of crude steel, the IEA said.