Largest coal con­sum­ing coun­tries in­crease ap­petite in first 5 months of 2017

Tehran Times - - ENERGY - (Source: oil­price.com)

Coal min­ing in the United States, In­dia, and China – the world’s three big­gest coal con­sumers – has in­creased in 2017, rev­ers­ing a down­ward trend in the use of car­bon-heavy fos­sil fuel in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Coal pro­duc­tion through May is up by 6 per­cent, or 121 mil­lion tons for the trio year-over-year. The most dra­matic change came in the United States, which saw a 19 per­cent rise in min­ing over the first five months of 2017, fig­ures from the U.S. De­part­ment of En­ergy show. President Don­ald Trump cam­paigned on the prom­ise of restor­ing coal sec­tor growth. Prior to his in­au­gu­ra­tion, to­tal ton­nage mined glob­ally in 2016 fell 6.5 per­cent—and the U.S. And China ac­counted for most of the pro­duc­tion de­cline, BP re­ported.

In­dus­try ex­perts who spoke to AP said Trump’s sup­port of coal had lit­tle to do with its resur­gence. In­stead, the wax­ing pop­u­lar­ity of coal had more to do with changes within Amer­i­can en­ergy mar­kets, new en­ergy poli­cies in China, and In­dia’s grow­ing ini­tia­tive to bring power to its most re­mote ci­ti­zens.

And while coal min­ing has picked up in 2017 in the US, coal con­sump­tion “will con­tinue to in­crease, mainly driven by Asian coun­tries,” Xizhou Zhou, of IHS Markit in Bei­jing, said. “We’re see­ing a re­cov­ery start­ing this year and an in­crease un­til the mid-2020s be­fore you see coal plateau glob­ally.”

The U.S., China, and In­dia pro­duce two-thirds of coal world­wide, and the two Asian na­tions im­port ad­di­tional sup­plies to meet de­mand. In­dia’s coal pro­duc­tion has grown over the past few years as Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi fur­thers his plan to bring toi­lets and elec­tric­ity to the en­tire coun­try.

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