Global coal production sees record drop

Global coal production sees record drop

Global coal production sees record drop

While President Donald Trump touts a new coal mine that provides fewer jobs than a typical supermarket, the world is switching off coal at a stunning pace to create millions of new clean energy jobs.

BP said global energy demand was weak for the third consecutive year last year, growing just one per cent - around half the average growth rate for the past decade.

BP, the British oil and gas giant, said global efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions and boost efficiency are having a tangible effect on global energy markets, with two main narratives playing out: the decline of coal, and the rapid rise of wind and solar power. At the root of the recent plateau are weak energy demand growth and a cleaner energy mix thanks to the increasing share of renewable energy. China, where the government in investing hundreds of billions in green energy programs, overtook the United States as the world's largest producer of renewable energy.

"The fortunes of coal appear to have taken a decisive break from the past", Spencer Dale, BP's chief economist, said at a briefing in London this week, according to Bloomberg.

In China, the world's largest consumer of coal, coal consumption has decreased by 1.6% last year, reaching a minimum of 6 years. Natural gas production was also adversely affected by low prices, growing by only 0.3%.

Thus, in the years 2005 - 2015 coal consumption had grown by an average annual rate of 1.9%.

The slowdown in China is reflected in the world's carbon emissions, which saw little or no growth for a third consecutive year in BP's data.

Oil production grew by half a percent, or 400,000 barrels per day, the lowest gain since 2009, as energy companies slashed spending.

The annual review found while renewables only met 4 per cent of total primary energy demand globally, the growth in renewables represented almost a third of the total growth in energy demand in 2016. Coal's share of primary energy production was down to its lowest since 2004 due to a fall in consumption by the USA and China.

BP said world coal production fell by a record 6.2 per cent, while in the United Kingdom coal consumption more than halved. Even though renewables account for only about a 4% share of total energy consumption, they accounted for almost one-third of the increase in primary energy use a year ago. "The longer-term trends we can see in this data are changing the patterns of demand and the mix of supply as the world works to meet the challenge of supplying the energy it needs while also reducing carbon emissions".

The world consumed 1.6 percent more oil previous year, with India's use expanding 7.8 percent, or 325,000 barrels a day, and China's 3.3 percent, according to the data. India maintained its energy demand growth at 5.4%, with the jump in global oil consumption driven primarily by India and Europe.

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