Coal industry - Statistics & Facts

Coal industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about coal industry and market

Since the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century, coal has had a significant impact on the world’s energy supply. To this day coal is still one of the leading energy sources among all non-renewables. The use of hard coal, the most important type of coal, has even increased as a share of total global energy production in the last few years. Coal also has by far the largest reserves of all non-renewable energy resources.


Global production of coal is also constantly rising, and reached the equivalent of almost 4 billion metric tons of oil in 2013. The leading coal producing countries are China, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, and India. The largest company based on production is Indian state-controlled Coal India Limited, which produced some 452 million metric tons of coal in 2012/2013. U.S.-based Peabody Energy is the top coal producing non-state company. Other top global players in coal mining include BHP Billiton, China Shenhua Energy and Rio Tinto.

The United States is ranked second in the world for coal production and coal consumption. Production showed a slight decrease over the last few years, and reached the equivalent of around 500 million metric tons of oil in 2013. Among the strongholds of U.S. coal mining are the Appalachian states West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, and also Wyoming in the West. The majority of the top coal producing U.S. mines are located in Wyoming.

The current rise in global coal production is a result of growing demand and consumption. In 2013, global coal consumption exceeded 3.8 billion metric tons of oil equivalent. Ten years ago this figure stood at approximately 2.6 billion. Ambitious economic giants China and India are largely responsible for these developments. Almost 70 percent of China’s rapidly growing energy consumption is supported by coal. Although U.S. coal consumption was showing a slight decrease in the last ten years, some projections predict a significant increase until as late as 2030.
Photo: istockphoto.com / noraluca013

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