“because of the implications for air quality and carbon emissions, coal is much criticized these last years, but it is too early to say that the end of the coal has arrived,” says Keisuke Sadamori, director of the division of markets and energy security of the IEA, in a press release.
The world is expected to consume $ 5.6 billion tons of coal in 2021, less than the previous estimate of 5.8 billion tons, the agency says energy in its annual report on the coal market, on Monday released a year after the adoption of the Paris agreement on climate.
After you have attained 4% per year between 2000 and 2013, the growth of global demand will slow to an annual average of 0.6% per year over the period 2015-2021. And the relative share of coal in electricity production will decrease from 41% (in 2014) to 36%, even if the world has never burned as much coal since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
The trend is explained by economic growth overall soft which weighs on the demand for electricity, the development of renewable energies and increased energy efficiency in the framework of the policies deployed in the fight against climate change.
It is already in motion, with a decline of 2.7% to 5.4 billion tons in 2015, unprecedented since the beginning of the new millennium due to a slowdown in China and the United States.
This trend hides, however, geographical realities are different. Asia consumes more coal – its share in world consumption increased from 46% in 2000 to 73% in 2015, Europe (22% to 12%) and North America (25% to 10%) less.
“This shift will accelerate over the next few years“, what complicate the negotiations on the reductions of emissions of CO2, predicts the IEA.
- Paradox –
in Addition to-Atlantic, the development of shale gas has supplanted the “king coal“, so that the consumption of this fuel fell by 15% last year to 523 million tonnes. The decline is expected to continue up to 475 Mt in 2021.
at the same time, Asia will continue to display a strong appetite, especially India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia.
China will show it less greedy, due to an economy more focused on services at the expense of heavy industry is very energy-intensive, but it will remain the largest consumer of coal: it will weigh almost 50% of the world demand with 2.8 billion tons in 2021, and 45% of the production.
As if investors are increasingly taking their distance with the coal, it remains the backbone of electricity production and industrial emerging in many countries – especially in South Asia and South-East, where strong economic growth is accompanied by population growth and growing water supply problems, electrical.
This is the paradox of coal, notes the IEA: an energy source that can provide electricity, “affordable and reliable” millions of people, but which blackens the atmosphere by rejecting 45% of the global CO2 emissions related to the energy sector, to which are added other greenhouse gases, and fine particles.
“This is why we need to find ways to make the use of coal more environmentally sustainable by ensuring that all countries that decide to use coal-fired power plants use the latest technology, ultra-supercritical, and provide for systems of CO2 capture and storage“, insists the agency of energy.
Without these efforts, which are insufficient today, achieving the goal of the Paris agreement to contain global warming to 2 degrees is an illusion, ” she warns.