China still not getting to grips with coal

China will continue to dominate the global coal market despite efforts to moderate its coal consumption. A report out yesterday found coal demand grew by 2.4% in 2013, with China driving much of […]

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By Taryn Nixon

China will continue to dominate the global coal market despite efforts to moderate its coal consumption.

A report out yesterday found coal demand grew by 2.4% in 2013, with China driving much of this, gobbling up an extra 196 million tonnes (Mt) over 2013.

This is larger than the whole world’s rise in coal use of 188 Mt – the figure is smaller than China’s because non-Asian countries reduced their use, said the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Europe trimmed its coal demand by 35 Mt compared to 2012 because of an increase in its renewable energy production, according to the  IEA’s ‘Medium-Term Coal Market Report’.

Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director called for more investment in “high-efficient” coal farms. She added: “New plants are being built, in an arc running from South Africa to Southeast Asia but too many of these are based on decades-old technology.

“Regrettably, they will be burning coal inefficiently for many years to come.”

Although China will continue to dominate the market over the next ten years, it is predicted India and South East Asia will boost demand but on a smaller scale.