The IEA reported today that increases in energy consumption in China, India and the United States could push demand for coal-fired power plants to record levels this year. In turn, this will undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Global coal-fired power generation will increase by 9% to 10,350 terawatt-hours in 2021 due to the rapidly recovering economy. As a result, demand for electricity from coal is growing faster than demand for low-carbon power sources, including in industrial sectors such as cement and steel production. Demand is expected to increase by 6% this year, although it will not reach the record high of 2013-2014, it could reach a new high next year.
In China, more than half of the world’s electricity is generated from coal, and this share is expected to increase by 9% in 2021, while India is expected to increase by 12% this year.
China has committed in the past to reduce its coal consumption. However, this will not be the case until 2025, prompting developers to consider alternatives to increase power generation over the next four years.