December 20, 2022: -Global coal use is on course to surge by 1.2% to hit a record high in 2022, a report from the International Energy Agency states.
It comes at a time of huge volatility and uncertainty in worldwide energy markets, with the IEA noting that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022 had “sharply changed the dynamics of the coal trade, price levels, and supply and demand patterns in 2022.”
“Coal markets have been shocked hardly in 2022, with traditional trade flows disrupted, prices increasing and demand set to increase by 1.2%, reaching an all-time high and over 8 billion metric tons for the first time,” the IEA stated in its Coal 2022 report, published December 16.
The agency said the cost of fossil fuels saw a substantial increase this year, “with raw gas leading the sharpest increase.”
“This is promoting a wave of fuel switching from gas, pushing demand for more price competitive options, which include coal in some regions,” it added.
Despite the surge in coal demand, the picture is a complex one. The IEA noted that “higher coal costs, strong deployment of renewables and energy efficiency, and weakened global economic increase are tempering the surge in overall coal demand in 2022.”
It said that coal usage in electricity generation was set to increase by slightly over 2% this year. Coal usage in the industry is slated to fall by more than 1%, with this decrease attributed to steel and iron production.
“The world is close to an aim in fossil fuel use, with a set of coal to be the first to refuse, but we are not present yet,” IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security Keisuke Sadamori added a statement. “Coal demand is stubborn and will reach an all-time high this year, pushing global emissions.”
“At the similar, there are many signs that today’s crisis accelerates the deployment of renewables, energy efficiency and heat pumps and will moderate coal competition in the coming years,” he added.
Government areas would be “key to ensuring a secure and sustainable path forward,” he added.
Coal use substantially impacts the environment, with environmental organization Greenpeace that states it as “the dirtiest, most polluting way of producing energy.”