Rising consumption in China, India and the United States could bring global coal-fired power demand to a new all-time high this year, undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.
Overall coal demand, including for industries such as cement and steel, is expected to grow 6% this year. Though it will not exceed the record consumption levels of 2013 and 2014, it could hit a new all-time high next year, the IEA report said.
China is responsible for more than half of global coal-fired power generation and is expected to see a 9% year-on-year increase in 2021, the IEA said. Generation in India is forecast to grow 12% this year.
China has already made a pledge to start reducing coal consumption, but will do so only after 2025, giving developers considerable leeway to raise generation capacity further in the coming four years.