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By CER News Desk on Dec 18, 2012 with 2 responses

Coal Will Surpass Oil in Fuel Use by 2022: IEA

Tags: China, coal, iea, India, oil

A report issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests that coal will surpass oil as the world’s most popular fuel source within 10 years, threatening to inject more greenhouse gases into the air than ever before if policy changes don’t follow the warning.

The boost in coal use is due to extreme growth in emerging markets like China and India, countries that require cheap fuel sources for electricity production in order to support their quickly growing infrastructures and populations. At current rates of growth, the IEA says that it expects that coal consumption will rise to 4.32 billion tonnes of oil equivalent versus 4.4 billions tonnes of oil per year worldwide within only four years; with that trend continuing, coal would quickly overtake oil as the world’s fuel source of choice. (Read More: Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions — Facts and Figures)

The IEA is the energy advisory arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group that oversees the economic activities of 34 industrialized nations, including Canada and the United States.

With loose policies governing greenhouse gas emissions, developing nations are more likely to turn to coal as a cheap fuel source, despite it being the worst source of pollutants among fossil fuels, the IEA says. As the United States focuses more on shale gas reserves, India is expected to become the second largest coal consumer in 2017, ranking only behind China.

For its part, ever-growing China will remain the world’s largest coal consumer, accounting for more than half of global consumption, for the foreseeable future, with the IEA predicting an increase in Chinese demand for coal of 3.7 percent per year, dropping to 2 percent per year in the case of an unexpected slowdown of the world’s most quickly expanding economy. (Read More: How Much Oil Does the World Produce?)

Ending its report with the tagline “China is coal, coal is China,” the IEA sees that country as determining the course of the global coal market over the next five years.

  1. By ronwagn on February 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    China fully realizes the damage it is doing to itself and the rest of the world with its filthy coal plants. The question is whether it cares to reduce its own pollution enough to upgrade its coal plants and switch to cleaner fuels. It has been actively beginning fracking its own vast shale gas resources, as well as nuclear, wind and solar. It is planning on importing piped gas from the Stans, Russia, and Myanmar. If it maximizes imports it can greatly reduce coal use. Let’s hope they do. Coal pollution travels all over the globe. India is in a similar situation, but will have to rely more on LNG, and less on piped gas. Coal will remain the cheapest fuel for both of them, but they should be encouraged to clean up their act.

  2. By ronwagn on February 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products. It will bring jobs and boost our economy. It lowers CO2 emissions, and pollution. Over 5,100 select natural gas story links on my free blog. An annotated and illustrated bibliography of live links, updated daily. The worldwide picture of natural gas. Read in 75 nations. ronwagnersrants . blogspot . com

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