Asia’s Share Of Global Coal Consumption Will Continue To Rise Despite Environmental Concerns, Says US EIA

By EnergyAsia, August 15th, 2013

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s latest 30-year energy forecast will worry environmentalists as fossil fuels demand growth is not expected to slow down.

At the same time, worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions is seen rising from about 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020 and to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, for a 46% increase over the 30-year span.

Despite increasing environmental concerns around the world, global coal consumption will grow by an average 1.3% per year from 147.4 quadrillion Btu (qBtu) in 2010 to 219.5 qBtu by 2040, predicts the EIA’s latest International Energy Outlook issued last month.

Led by China and India, developing Asia’s share of global coal use will rise from 60% in 2010 to 71.4% by 2040.

China’s coal consumption, the most of any country, will grow at a rate of 1.9% per year from 69.4 qBtu in 2010 to 121.5 qBtu by 2040, while third-placed India’s will also increase at the same rate from 12.6 qBtu to 22.4 qBtu over the 30-year period.

The US, the world’s second largest coal user, will see its consumption drop from 20.8 qBtu in 2010 to 20.4 qBtu by 2040, said the EIA.

In 2010, developing Asia’s coal consumption reached 88.4 qBtu or nearly 60% of the world’s total of 147.5 qBtu. By 2040, it will climb to 71.4% of 219.5 qBtu.

Some of the fastest rates of growth in coal consumption will take place in the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America that previously were not known to be significantly reliant on the fuel, said the EIA. Between 2010 and 2040, Central and South America will see its coal consumption grow by 2% per year, ahead of Africa’s 1.8% and the Middle East’s 1.6%.

On a broader note, the EIA expects world energy consumption to increase from 524 qBtu in 2010 to 820 qBtu in 2040, with most the increase occurring in the developing world.

Fossil fuels will remain the main fuel sources, supplying almost 80% of the world’s demand while renewable energy and nuclear power will be the fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5% per year, said the EIA.

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