IEA Tips Coal Rebound
By Lou Caruana
January 11, 2021 - Higher natural gas prices and electricity demand are set to slow the structural decline of coal use in the European Union and the US, which both might see their coal consumption grow for the first time in nearly a decade.
By 2025, global coal demand is forecast to flatten out at around 7.4 billion tonnes, according to the IEA's latest coal report.
"Trends are expected to vary by region over the next five years," it said.
"In Europe and North America, coal continues its decline after a temporary uptick in 2021. Given that the combined coal consumption of the European Union and the United States now represents around 10% of global coal use, further declines in those markets will have a limited effect at a global level."
In China, coal demand is reaching a plateau, although our 2025 forecast will need to be reviewed following the release of the Chinese government's 14th Five-Year Plan, according to the IEA report.
"China's pledge of reaching carbon neutrality before 2060 requires a long-term roadmap to enable the smooth transition of an economy which consumes 4 billion tonnes of coal each year. India and some other countries in South and Southeast Asia are forecast to increase coal use through 2025 as industrial production expands and new coal-fired capacity is built.
"In India, however, the demand outlook to 2025 is considerably lower than it was a year ago as a result of the pandemic. By 2025, ASEAN will become the third-largest coal-consuming region, surpassing the United States and the European Union. In 2020, some countries made pledges that involve reducing coal use in the coming years (Korea, Japan), downsizing planned coal expansion (Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines), and cancelling plans for coal development (Egypt)."