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Coal consumption reaches all-time high in 2022. IEA report finds

The International Energy Agency announced that worldwide coal consumption will reach an all-time high this year.

The IAEA agency released its annual coal report this past weekend, revealing that coal use grew only 1.2% in 2022, pushing it to an all-time high of over 8 billion metric tons. The previous record was set in 2013.

Countries Consider Cheaper Coal Consumption

Increased gas prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with supply chain issues have caused some countries to consider cheaper coal.

Heatwaves and droughts drove up electricity demand and limited hydropower, while nuclear generation has been weak. France shut down nuclear reactors for maintenance. In the IAEA’s report they said:

“The world’s coal consumption will remain at similar levels in the following years in the absence of stronger efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy,” and noting “robust demand” in Asian economies would offset declining use in stronger markets.

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Credit: Sam Larussa/Unsplash

The IEA report showed that today’s crisis has been accelerating the deployment of renewables, and energy efficiency, and moderating coal demand in the coming years.

As countries look at the ongoing use of fossil fuels, coal continues to be the global energy system’s largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions.

IEA’s Director of Energy Markets and Security, Keisuke Sadamori said that the world will soon experience a peak in fossil fuel use, and coal will be the first to decline.

However, that moment has not arrived.  Global coal-fired power generation is expected to rise to a new record, while coal production will rise 5.4 percent to nearly 8.3 billion tons, which is an all-time high.

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