Graphic shows two decades of Asian global coal consumption.
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Asia burns most coal

By Duncan Mil

August 23, 2019 - Asia is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, accounting for 75 per cent of global demand. China is the world’s largest consumer, followed by India, Japan and South Korea.

South-East Asia was the only region in the world in which coal’s share of power generation grew last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Global coal consumption peaked in 2013 at 3,867 billion tonnes of oil equivalent, but the 2019 BP Statistical Review shows that demand last year had declined merely 2.5 per cent below the peak.

China continues to emit more carbon dioxide than any other country.  In 2013, Beijing agreed to a five-year plan to reduce its coal consumption by 50 per cent and the nation increased investment in renewables. China now has a third of the world’s wind turbines and a quarter of its solar panels, according to the IEA.

Renewable energy increased by over 25% in both India and China last year, which together accounted for around half of the global growth in renewable energy.

After Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, his government announced a plan to quadruple India’s renewable energy capacity by 2022 to 175 gigawatts. The share of renewable energy could rise from 7.8 per cent to 19 per cent.

Indian renewables now cost less than three rupees ($0.04) per kilowatt-hour, well below domestic coal at four rupees per kilowatt-hour, according to Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a green think-tank.

PUBLISHED: 23/08/2019; STORY: Graphic News
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