The data showing the consumption of this fuel around the world, show a clear decrease in its use. In line with the sustainability objectives, the data seem to support the progressive extinction of the use of coal on our planet.
In recent years, the ecological transition that the planet plans to experience, and that is continually promoted by institutions and different economic organizations, aims to end an industry, as polluting as it is advantageous, such as the coal industry. Its use on the planet continues to decline, as public awareness of the need to use renewable and more sustainable energy sources grows. And it is that, in the light of the data, the coal seems to have, as a fuel for industrial use, the days numbered.
Based on the data provided by the main statistical portals, the consumption of coal on the planet has experienced a sharp decline in recent years. Specifically, since 2009, the consumption of coal on the planet has been reduced by 34%. A quite remarkable decrease, considering that we are talking about fossil fuel that gave rise to events so important for our history, as well as for our economy, such as the Industrial Revolution. Fuel that, to date, ranked high on that list of the most widely used fossil fuels.
“Since 2009, the consumption of coal on the planet has been reduced by 34%.”
However, despite the fact that some people may attribute this decrease in the demand for coal to the forced stoppage of economic activity that occurred months ago, we must also know that the trend, in their analysis, is quite clear. In this sense, as can be seen, consumption has not stopped declining year-on-year, reaching a decline as mentioned above. However, taking into account this trend, and in addition to the statements made by the International Energy Agency (IEA), we are talking about the fact that coal, when this happens, expects not to recover levels previous to those registered today.
Thus, the sustainable development objectives proposed by the different multilateral organizations, as well as the possible incorporation of the United States, with Biden by the hand, to that Treaty of Paris, has once again given relevance to that need that the planet presents to implement more sustainable fuels and less harmful to the environment. And it is that, as an anecdotal fact, it is astonishing to observe how, despite the incentives and stimuli that President Donald Trump offered to the North American companies that worked with this fuel, its use has fallen significantly over time. Well, not even with aid, coal will re-emerge as a fuel for the near future.
Since, in short, what happened in the United States, in a scenario in which fracking has lowered the price of alternative fuels such as natural gas over time, is a trend that expects to repeat itself, in a few years, all over the world. the planet.
A very harmful fuel
Despite the fact that we are talking about a fuel as relevant as it is historical, such as coal, we must know that its use has a very detrimental impact on the environment; especially when we compare it with other fuels and their weight in total energy consumption. And, despite the fact that we are talking about a fuel that, as we said, has had great relevance in our history, at the same time that it has been the engine of economic development in the West, we must know that its use, according to the data that are shown, it is quite harmful.
Coal, in recent years and as we said, has experienced a decline in its use in relation to other fuels. This sharp decline has led coal to occupy 27% of the total in market share. In other words, of the gross energy consumption on the planet, 27% is coal. However, despite its weight in gross energy consumption, we must know that its impact is significantly higher than that of other fuels that, having a similar weight, do not contribute so negatively to the sustainable development of our ecosystem.
In this sense, we must know that, despite the fact that coal represents that 27% of gross energy consumption, it, in the same way, represents 39% of CO emissions2 generated by fossil fuels. Despite this lower use of coal, as we can see, its weight in the pollution produced by these fuels is notably higher. In this sense, further reinforcing the position we are commenting on, as well as the need to continue reducing the consumption of this fuel to guarantee a prosperous future, but also sustainable.
“Although coal represents 27% of gross energy consumption, it, in the same way, represents 39% of CO emissions2 generated by fossil fuels’.
And, for this reason, what happened in the United States, mentioned above, is also taking place in many other territories; pioneers in the use of this fuel. This is the case of the United Kingdom. The British power, characterized by joining an Industrial Revolution at an earlier stage than its counterpart economies, did so thanks to a series of factors, including coal. However, despite this, the country expects to close the last coal-fired power plants in 2022.
Asia: the resistance
Thus, despite this trend that is observed throughout the planet, we must know that the use of coal, not in all territories, has begun to be a fuel in the phase of extinction. In this sense, the Asian continent, and according to the figures shown by the main economic organizations, reflects a greater use of coal than the rest of the economies on the planet. In turn, among Asian countries, the role of China stands out, as well as other economies that, such as India, continue to use this fuel to carry out their production.
At this time, as we mentioned before, the use of coal represents that 27% of the consumption of fossil energy throughout the planet. However, to these data we must add one more piece of information, and that is that, if we observe and disaggregate this use by continents, we can observe that of that 27% commented, 77% corresponds to the use of coal by the Asian industry. In other words, a large majority of the coal used has been used by the Asian continent.
«77% of the coal used in the whole planet is used by the Asian continent»
Of that 77% that corresponds to the Asian continent, two thirds of said consumption would correspond to the Chinese economy. In this sense, we would be talking about the Asian dragon, approximately, consuming about 70% of the coal used in Asia. A large volume that, in line with the global trend, could begin to gradually decrease.
Ultimately, although the data show such evidence, it is true that China has begun to take note, and that Biden’s victory and his assault on the White House will promote that good relationship with the Asian country, as well as compliance on his part with regulations on the use of fossil fuels. In this sense, the Chinese president has already communicated about it, offering cordiality and commitment to the rest of the leaders around the planet. The trend, as well as the positions, is quite clear. The use of coal on the planet, therefore, hopes to have its days more than numbered.