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U.S, China and India, world’s leading coal consumers’ consumption will increase further in the year 2021-22 as the respective countries and their economies are reeling back from the slowdown in production activities caused by the pandemic last year.

Business News: U.S, China and India, world’s leading coal consumers’ consumption will increase further in the year 2021-22 as the respective countries and their economies are reeling back from the slowdown in production activities caused by the pandemic last year. The rise in consumption this year seems as if a drop in coal consumptions and emissions never happened.

U.S, China and India coal consumptions set to increase further - The Wall Post
U.S, China and India coal consumptions set to increase further – The Wall Post

U.S coal-based power plants will consume 16% coal this year and 3% in 2022, says Energy Information Administration. India and China together account for nearly two-thirds of consumption and seemingly have no plans to reduce carbon emissions as coal has been its biggest source of energy for its industrial activity.

As countries from all over the world will soon meet to bring action to their commitments of reducing emissions, U.S who has been at the front of climate control, itself is now in an inevitable state to depend on coal-based energy for reviving its industrial activity. This will undermine President Biden’s push to make U.S an environmental leader.

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There are reasons as to why there is a rise in coal consumption for the three countries. For the U.S, it is mainly due to high oil and natural gas prices globally that pushes the country to use cheaper coal to produce energy. While Biden’s new COVID stimulus has not focused on reducing coal consumption for now, another bill that is expected might help the economy lean towards greener energy.

China and India are expecting an increase in demand for electricity and coal is the best reliable option for India and China to supply their energy needs now. Though there is a growing trend in India especially, to use renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and hydro-turbine power, coal still provides 70% of its energy needs in the country.

Though China’s Xi Jinping promised to zero net-emissions in China by 2060, in its recent five-year plan there was barely any action to reduce emissions. China’s coal-based power producers have been around for decades and have supported China’s rapid industrialisation and pollution till now. So, it will not be easy to change this dependence on coal overnight.

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“All of that installed capacity doesn’t go away overnight,” said Dennis Wamsted, an analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Tang Daqian, an associative director at Fitch Bohua has said that the spike in coal consumption in China is only for a while, that is induced by demand for energy in construction and metal demand. The coal consumption will eventually fall as China implements its actions on reducing emissions he says.

India as said earlier depends on coal as a main source of energy production and coal consumption will only rise up as India continues to industrialise more, at least till the next 10 years. India’s coal consumption and demand will eventually rise and take a steep fall as it can afford to shift to renewable sources of energy in the long term.

In U.S the demand for coal is re-bounding after a dip in energy consumption caused by the pandemic. As oil and natural gas prices seem to remain high in the upcoming days, at least until December Coal consumption in U.S is also poised for a gradual rise, says the EIA.

Future for coal consumptions remains dim as many emerging markets that we expect naturally to burn more coal to create energy to support industries are now turning their back on coal and are turning to renewable sources of energy. This is especially good as these countries need not struggle later to find renewable sources and will get accustomed to relying on clean energy.

“The trend is down, down and continuing to go down,” said IEEFA’s Wamsted. Coal India, the world’s largest producer, expects consumption will be boosted as industries including steel, cement and aluminum return to pre-virus levels of output. The company recently approved more than $6 billion in investments in new mines and expansions.

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“There are climate-change issues about coal, but India’s energy needs won’t allow it to dump the fuel instantly,” said Binay Dayal, the firm’s technical director.