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Global coal energy industry - Statistics & facts

Coal is a combustible fuel and a primary energy source used as a means of electricity and heat generation. It was one of the fuels first consumed within the public power sector since the development of alternating current transmission in the late 19th century and a major contributor to the Industrial Revolution. Coal is a combustible fossil fuel. Within a coal power station, thermal coal such as lignite (also referred to as brown coal) and hard coal is burned to bring water to boil. The resulting water steam then drives turbines attached to generators, creating electricity. Today, coal is still the world’s main source of electricity generation.

Coal use today and most common tech types installed

As coal is often one of the cheapest and most secure means of obtaining electricity, it has been favored by many emerging economies such as China and India. In fact, the use of coal power in China has increased so much over the past three decades that it has become the largest producer of coal-fired power in the world. In 2019, China generated over 4,500 terawatt hours of electricity through coal burning, accounting for over half of total production worldwide. Subcritical and supercritical combustion types have historically been the most installed technologies in a coal power station. Subcritical was the first type of coal power generating process developed. However, since then more efficient means of combustion as well as carbon capture techniques have been introduced, with ultra-super being the preferred choice within the last 10 years.

Future investments and high public support in select countries

Global installed coal power capacity has risen to over 2.1 terawatts and is projected to peak around 2030. Many governments have introduced phase-out dates to be reached before mid-century to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. Nevertheless, as of 2020 there were over 500 gigawatts worth of coal power plants in the pipeline. Russia, Malaysia, and India have recorded the greatest share of public support for coal expansion. More than half of the respective country’s residents were in favor of furthering coal use, despite concerns over its environmental impact.

Chinese banks such as ICBC are the greatest investment banks for coal companies. Of the five banks having invested the greatest amount in the past years, four were China-based enterprises.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Coal energy industry worldwide" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Capacity & production

Consumption & prices

Market

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Coal energy industry worldwide".

Coal energy worldwide

Dossier on the topic

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Global coal energy industry - Statistics & facts

Coal is a combustible fuel and a primary energy source used as a means of electricity and heat generation. It was one of the fuels first consumed within the public power sector since the development of alternating current transmission in the late 19th century and a major contributor to the Industrial Revolution. Coal is a combustible fossil fuel. Within a coal power station, thermal coal such as lignite (also referred to as brown coal) and hard coal is burned to bring water to boil. The resulting water steam then drives turbines attached to generators, creating electricity. Today, coal is still the world’s main source of electricity generation.

Coal use today and most common tech types installed

As coal is often one of the cheapest and most secure means of obtaining electricity, it has been favored by many emerging economies such as China and India. In fact, the use of coal power in China has increased so much over the past three decades that it has become the largest producer of coal-fired power in the world. In 2019, China generated over 4,500 terawatt hours of electricity through coal burning, accounting for over half of total production worldwide. Subcritical and supercritical combustion types have historically been the most installed technologies in a coal power station. Subcritical was the first type of coal power generating process developed. However, since then more efficient means of combustion as well as carbon capture techniques have been introduced, with ultra-super being the preferred choice within the last 10 years.

Future investments and high public support in select countries

Global installed coal power capacity has risen to over 2.1 terawatts and is projected to peak around 2030. Many governments have introduced phase-out dates to be reached before mid-century to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. Nevertheless, as of 2020 there were over 500 gigawatts worth of coal power plants in the pipeline. Russia, Malaysia, and India have recorded the greatest share of public support for coal expansion. More than half of the respective country’s residents were in favor of furthering coal use, despite concerns over its environmental impact.

Chinese banks such as ICBC are the greatest investment banks for coal companies. Of the five banks having invested the greatest amount in the past years, four were China-based enterprises.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Coal energy industry worldwide".

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