Feature Reports

Coal Producers and Consumers

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© 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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Global Coal Consumption

World coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... consumption continued to rise from 2017 to 2018, led by India, China and Russia. In spite of its ambitious renewable energyEnergy sources that are naturally replenished so quickly that they can be considered inexhaustible on a human time scale... plans, India faces growing energy needs due to its rapidly expanding economy, which led to a doubling of gross domestic product (GDP) in ten years. China, which is experiencing an economic slowdown, saw its coal consumption grow by less than 1%. In Europe, Germany has continued to reduce its reliance on coal, while in Poland and Ukraine consumption has renewed an upward trajectory.

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Global Coal Reserves

The United States has the largest coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... reserves in the world, followed far behind by Russia, Australia and China. At the current rate of consumption, proven reserves will satisfy demand for more than 130 years.

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Global Coal Production

A turnaround in global demand over the past two years spurred a 4%-plus increase in coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... production between 2017 and 2018. China maintained its ranking as the world's largest producer of coal (for its own use), ahead of the United States and Indonesia (which is catching up with U.S. production).

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