Global coal demand is expected to decline in 2019 but remain broadly stable over the next five years, supported by robust growth in major Asian markets, according to Coal 2019, the IEA’s latest market analysis and forecast.
It is too soon to say whether the expected global decrease in coal power generation this year will be the start of a lasting trend – renewable sources are forecast to supply a major portion of the increase in global electricity demand over the next five years while electricity generation from coal will rise only marginally over the same period. However, coal remains by far the single largest source of power supply worldwide.
“Wind and solar PV are growing rapidly in many parts of the world. With investment in new plants drying up, coal power capacity outside Asia is clearly declining and will continue to do so in the coming years,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s Director of Energy Markets and Security, who launched the report in Johannesburg alongside Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources.
“But this is not the end of coal, since demand continues to expand in Asia,” Mr Sadamori added. “The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20% in 1990 to almost 80% in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals.”