World coal demand forecast to grow slightly through 2022

World coal demand forecast to grow slightly through 2022
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International demand for coal is likely to grow slightly through 2022, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted Monday.

The Paris-based intergovernmental group said in its annual medium-term coal report that annual coal demand will increase 0.5 percent for the next five years, to 5.534 billion metric tonnes.

Pointing to the minimal growth, IEA declared the 2012 to 2022 time frame a “decade of stagnation” for coal.


“The energy system is evolving at a rapid pace all around us, with a more diversifying fuel mix, and the cost of technologies going down,” Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s director for energy markets and security.

“But while everything else is changing, global coal demand remains the same.”

Coal’s share of the international energy mix will fall slightly from 27 percent last year to 26 percent in 2022, the group predicted.

The use of coal for electricity generation is expected to grow by an average of 1.2 percent over the next five years. But despite that, coal’s share of the electricity generation mix will be 36 percent in 2022, the lowest recorded by IEA.

IEA used the report, in part, to advocate for policies that encourage the development and use of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), which has the potential to dramatically decrease emissions from coal use.

“This serves as a critical reminder why technologies like CCUS are so important, and why governments and companies need to step up their policy support and investments in that sector in order to meet global climate goals,” Sadamori said.