Coal may overtake oil as world’s top energy source, says IEA
"Thanks to abundant supplies and insatiable demand for power from emerging markets, coal met nearly half of the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st century," said Maria van der Hoeven, head of the International Energy Agency.
Economic growth is expected to push up further coal's share of the global energy mix, "and if no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade," she said in a statement.
The latest IEA projections see coal consumption nearly catching oil consumption in four years time, rising to 4.32 billion tonnes of oil equivalent in 2017 against 4.4 billion tonnes for oil.
That has consequences for climate change as coal produces far more carbon emissions responsible for global warming than other fuels. But the IEA report on coal found that even countries which have committed themselves to reducing carbon emissions are finding it difficult to resist the renewed allure of coal.
A number of European countries have seen their use of coal for electricity consumption jump at the beginning of this year, including by 65 percent in Spain, 35 percent in Britain and 8 percent in Germany. The shale gas boom in the US has led to a slump in coal prices there and subsequently
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