The future of coal – the world’s dominant fuel for more than a century – continues to be one of the most pressing questions in the energy scene. Coal is under pressure in many regions of the world for its contribution to greenhouse gases. It is being squeezed out in power generation by cheap and abundant natural gas and fast-growing renewables, whose costs are also plummeting.
At the same time, however, recent declines in coal usage have also been reversed this year by stronger consumption in coal’s three largest markets – China, India, and the United States. But, whereas this growth is expected to be temporary in China and United States, that is not the case for India. Despite progress in energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of renewables, increasing energy needs for its economic growth and development will push India to expand coal use.
The IEA Coal 2017 market and analysis report provides a comprehensive analysis of recent trends and forecasts through 2022 of coal demand, supply and trade at both the global and regional levels. The insights provided in this report help to explain the current developments in coal markets and provide a window into the fuel’s future over the next five years.