Coal is in demand worldwide, and global demand could reach eight billion tons by the end of 2022, matching the all-time high set in 2013, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in an updated report on the coal market.
Based on current economic and market trends, global coal consumption is forecast to rise 0.7 percent this year to eight billion tons, assuming China’s economy is expected to recover in the second half of the year, the IEA report said.
According to the agency, demand has been fueled by rising natural gas prices, which is forcing many countries to switch back to coal and reopen closed thermal power plants, a trend that is expected to continue next year.
The analysis estimates that China, responsible for more than half of global coal consumption, will be the main driver of demand growth in the second half of this year, after seeing a three percent drop in demand in the first half.
Coal demand in India is also forecast to rise due to the country’s economic growth and higher electricity consumption, and the European Union is expected to contribute to demand as it increasingly turns to coal for power generation, to replace gas or save it for the winter due to falling imports from Russia.