The global demand for coal is expected to dwindle in the future with many countries particularly the Western world switching to renewable sources of energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that renewable sources will supply a major portion of the increase in global electricity demand over the next five years. However, Asia is expected to drive the demand for coal as the region still heavily depends on coal for power generation.
Asia’s share in the global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20% in 1990 to almost 80% in 2019, therefore the region is key to the future of coal production and demand.
China, which produces and consumes half of the world’s coal, is a key market that will decide the fate of coal in the future. Besides China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam are some of the key countries that are dependent on coal to fuel their economic growth. Although India for the first time witnessed a low coal power generation in 2019 in 45 years, the fall in production is attributed to unusually low growth in electricity demand and exceptionally high hydropower output.
With wind and solar energy plants coming up in many parts of the world, coal power capacity outside Asia is declining.
In Asia there has been a move towards sustainable solid fuels. For instance, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam (MOIT) has proposed a draft decision amending decision No. 24 of 2014 – that supports mechanisms for the development of biomass power projects in Vietnam. The draft decision proposes an increase in feed-in-tariffs (FiT) for biomass power projects.
As public opposition to coal is intensifying, many countries are considering stringent climate and environmental policies.
Find out the latest on demand and supply of solid fuels in Asia at CMT’s first Asia Solid Fuels 2020 on 28-29 September in Hanoi, Vietnam.