Global coal usage falls for the first time ever

With Covid-19 catalysing project retirements and postponements, the first half of 2020 was the first time on record that coal-fired power had diminished.

|Aug 4|magazine2 min read

The reduction in coal power usage came about as the closure of plants in Europe and the USA outweighed the output from new units, 60% of which are in China.

The net decline is only fractional, 2.9GW, which is approximately o.1% of the world’s coal capacity; but the fact that the figure is decreasing at all represents a turning point for the mining and energy industries.

Christine Shearer, the program director for coal at Global Energy Monitor, who conducted this research, commented that the coronavirus outbreak, and the impact that it is having on industries, is a chance for the energy industry to look to a more sustainable future: “The Covid pandemic has paused coal plant development around the world and offers a unique opportunity for countries to reassess their future energy plans and choose the cost-optimal path, which is to replace coal power with clean energy.”

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