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Coal Producers and Consumers

Summary Coal Producers and Consumers

© AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

Despite its high carbon emissions, coal is the second most widely used energy in the world and the number one energy source for power generation. Its reserves are well distributed across the planet and production meets local needs. 

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Coal Consumption

Growth in global coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... consumption has come to a stop following a three-year slowdown.

Between 2014 and 2015, consumption declined significantly by almost 2%. This turning-point is mainly due to changes in China, where half of the world's coal is consumed.

Consumption in the United States, where gas replaced coal as the principal source of electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... generation in 2016, fell by nearly 13%. As a result, India, which continues to rely on the large quantities of coal it produces, overtook the United States as the second largest coal consumer in the world.

In Europe, consumption in Poland increased slightly, demonstrating the difficulties the country is facing in ushering in its energy transition, despite European Union support. 

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Coal Reserves

Estimates of coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... reserves remain stable, with the United States, Russia and China leading the field, followed by Australia and India. Only Russia and India have increased their coal production, whereas the United States, China and Australia have reduced their output.

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Coal Producers

China is still the number one coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... producer. Global coal production continued to slow significantly between 2014 and 2015.

It had declined for the first time in decades between 2013 and 2014, by 0.7%, and fell again between 2014 and 2015, by 4%. With the exception of India and Russia, output contracted from all the largest producers. China, which accounts for almost half of global coal production, continued to slowly but steadily cut back its output (down 2%), while production in the United States fell by more than 10%.

As consumption in the United States declined even further, the surplus was exported to the global markets.

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