Coal industry - Statistics & facts

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-renewable resources. The use of hard coal, the most important type of coal, has even increased somewhat in recent years. Coal also has by far the largest reserves of all non-renewable energy resources.

Global production of coal has been steadily rising in recent years, and reached the equivalent of nearly 168 exajoules in 2019. The leading hard coal producing countries are China, India, the United States, Australia, and Indonesia. The largest company based on production is the Indian state-controlled Coal India Limited, which produced 606.9 million metric tons of coal in 2018/19. The mining company was established in 1975 and ranks among the largest ten polluters in the world. Other top global players in coal mining include United States based Arch Coal, which was also one of the highest valued public companies in March 2020. Among the strongholds of U.S. coal mining are the Appalachian states West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, as well as Wyoming in the West. The majority of the leading coal producing mines in the U.S. are located in Wyoming.

While Central and South America had seen the greatest demand growth between 2018 and 2019, ambitious economic giants China and India continue to be responsible for the majority of coal consumption. Some 60 percent of China’s rapidly growing energy consumption is supported by coal. Although U.S. coal consumption has shown a slight decrease in the last ten years, some projections predict a significant increase until as late as 2030.

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