India’s total coal consumption will still remain as low as one-third of China’s use of the dirty fuel, whose 25% projected cut by the year 2040 has prompted the world’s overall expected coal usage to remain largely flat during the period.
While the world’s biggest polluters such as China and the US cut their coal usage over the next 25 years, India’s coal consumption will rise by a whopping 65% by 2040. But fret not. India’s total coal consumption will still remain as low as one-third of China’s use of the dirty fuel, whose 25% projected cut by the year 2040 has prompted the world’s overall expected coal usage to remain largely flat during the period.
China’s total consumption of energy generated from coal will fall to nearly 73 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units), while India will stand close to 23 quadrillion Btu in 2040, the US-based Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed. A quadrillion has one thousand trillions. The world consumption will be close to 160 quadrillion Btu.
Subsequently, coal-related emissions in India will continue to remain much lower than China through 2040, EIA said in a recent report. In 2015, China was world’s top polluter in terms of overall carbon emissions. It emitted 10.64 million kiloton CO2 while India emitted 2.45 million kiloton CO2.
However, China’s shift to other renewable resources from coal will have a major effect on world coal consumption, which is now expected to remain flat by 2040. Interestingly, in 2013, EIA had projected that the world’s coal consumption would rise by as much as 39% by the year 2040. In a span of just four years, EIA has cut its forecast from 39% to just 1%.
While the consumption of other energy resources — petroleum, natural gas, renewable, nuclear — will shoot up by 2040, coal will fall flat.
The report also said that India’s coal consumption will overtake that in the United States in the next three years by 2020, but not certainly not at the rate Donald Trump had enunciated while pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.
“India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it: India can double their coal production. We’re supposed to get rid of ours,” Donald Trump had said in June. However, data by US-based EIA projects that India’s coal production is not going to double until 2040. In 2016, India produced 554.14 million tonnes of coal, and according to EIA, the production will increase by 600 million tonnes by 2040, and not 2020 or even 2025.
Moreover, India’s increased coal consumption will not have an effect on the growth of renewable resources for energy consumption. In fact, coal’s share in overall energy consumption is projected to decrease from 49% in 2015 to 43% by 2040.
In the projection period of 2015-to-2040, India’s coal consumption will rise due to sustained industrial growth, especially iron and steel industry. Further, increased efforts to electrify the country’s rural areas are expected to drive the increase in coal consumption. The use of coal in the industrial application will alone increase from 6 quadrillion Btu to 11 quadrillion Btu by 2040, the EIA report said.