What Paris Agreement? Coal Consumption Hit a Record 8 billion tons in 2022

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to the IEA coal use will drop as soon as European renewables start displacing coal.

The world’s coal consumption is set to reach a new high in 2022 as the energy crisis shakes markets

16 December 2022

Increase in coal use in Europe is expected to be temporary, with demand falling in advanced economies in the coming years but remaining robust in emerging Asia

Global coal demand is set to increase only marginally in 2022 but enough to push it to an all-time high amid the energy crisis, according to a new IEA report, which forecasts the world’s coal consumption will remain at similar levels in the following years in the absence of stronger efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Global coal use is set to rise by 1.2% in 2022, surpassing 8 billion tonnes in a single year for the first time and eclipsing the previous record set in 2013, according to Coal 2022, the IEA’s latest annual market report on the sector. Based on current market trends, the report forecasts that coal consumption will then remain flat at that level through 2025 as declines in mature markets are offset by continued robust demand in emerging Asian economies. This means coal will continue to be the global energy system’s largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions by far.

“The world is close to a peak in fossil fuel use, with coal set to be the first to decline, but we are not there yet,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s Director of Energy Markets and Security. “Coal demand is stubborn and will likely reach an all-time high this year, pushing up global emissions. At the same time, there are many signs that today’s crisis is accelerating the deployment of renewables, energy efficiency and heat pumps – and this will moderate coal demand in the coming years. Government policies will be key to ensuring a secure and sustainable path forward.”

The international coal market remained tight in 2022, with coal demand for power generation set to hit a new record. Coal prices rose to unprecedented levels in March and then again in June, pushed higher by the strains caused by the global energy crisis, especially the spikes in natural gas prices, as well as adverse weather conditions in Australia, a key international supplier. Europe, which has been heavily impacted by Russia’s sharp reductions of natural gas flows, is on course to increase its coal consumption for the second year in a row. However, by 2025, European coal demand is expected to decline below 2020 levels.

Read more: https://www.iea.org/news/the-world-s-coal-consumption-is-set-to-reach-a-new-high-in-2022-as-the-energy-crisis-shakes-markets

I also expect coal use to drop over the next few years, my crystal ball tells me the world is about to enter a severe global recession. But I don’t expect renewable energy to significantly displace coal use by 2025, because unlike coal, renewable energy cannot be produced on demand. Renewable energy is only available when the sun shines or the wind blows.

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Editor
December 17, 2022 2:03 pm

AGW proponents plan, nature laughs…skeptics laugh, too!

Regards,
Bob

Editor
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 17, 2022 2:09 pm

Just noticed something. If you’re the first to comment on a thread here, above the comment to the right-hand side, it tells you three things, (1) oldest comment, (2) hottest comment, and (3) most reacted. Made me smile. Yippeeeee, my comment, the only comment on the thread, is oldest, hottest and most reacted.

Regards,
Bob

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 17, 2022 4:01 pm

Only until you observed it with the second comment.

Editor
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 17, 2022 4:29 pm

Scarecrow Repair, you failed to consider something: I wouldn’t have known to write the second comment if they hadn’t appeared with the first.

Try it. WUWT posts are published like clockwork, every four hours on the hour. Get here first.

Regards,
Bob

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 17, 2022 9:11 pm

I was smiling, applauding; not annoyed.

HotScot
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 18, 2022 2:10 am

Santa’s obviously a sceptic….Ho, Ho, Ho.

David Dibbell
December 17, 2022 2:21 pm

“At the same time, there are many signs that today’s crisis is accelerating the deployment of renewables, energy efficiency and heat pumps – and this will moderate coal demand in the coming years.”

If folks are converting to heat pump systems, dependence on reliable electricity increases a lot. Deploy all the wind and solar you want, and you might need more coal, not less, when it is calm, dark, and cold. Batteries won’t make much difference. So we’ll see what happens.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Dibbell
pillageidiot
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 17, 2022 2:57 pm

“Deploy all the wind and solar you want, and you might need more coal, not less, when it is calm, dark, and cold. Batteries won’t make much difference. So we’ll see what happens.”

I am pretty sure that Clubber Lang (Rocky III) is smarter than the EU grid planners.

“Prediction? Pain.”

AndyHce
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 17, 2022 4:16 pm

Heat pumps are expensive to run, especially as outside temperatures drop since then they require considerable electric heating from heating coils.

Gums
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 17, 2022 8:08 pm

Salute!

Anybody using heat pumps for heating needs to look at the local climate/weather history. They work well for cooling in most warm places. But even in north Florida, south Alabama, south Georgia, south Miss the elecric meter runs crazy once outside gemp gets below 40 deg F. By 30 deg outside the heat pump HVAC goes to resistive heating – think about a big toaster!

Gums sends…

Last edited 1 month ago by Gums
Craig Howard
Reply to  Gums
December 19, 2022 2:57 pm

I’ve researched heat pumps for my upstate NY home because they’re being pushed so hard now that I thought perhaps some big technological breakthrough had been reached. Even Canada is pushing them.

In the end, though, all I can conclude is that it’s a stealth plan to electrify our heating.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  David Dibbell
December 19, 2022 9:32 am

I think we are already seeing what happens in the UK and Germany. WHen they decrease their dependence on FF and NG, the solar and wind can NOT make up the difference! Not even with batterirs!

abolition man
December 17, 2022 2:53 pm

Will the energy impoverished citizens of Europe take to extracting coal again themselves before their forests are stripped bare?
That would be a worthwhile underground, but the totalitarians in charge cannot permit the right of heating to exist!

John Oliver
December 17, 2022 3:32 pm

I am just becoming more and more concerned about the amount of money being thrown away on “renewables” combined with several years of governments spending like drunken sailors. We’re destroying the accumulated savings of generations now, past present and future . The opportunity cost I fear could be devastating to our society. You can destroy your investment capital rapidly but it can take along time to replace it.

Craig Howard
Reply to  John Oliver
December 19, 2022 2:59 pm

Excellent observation. We are destroying our capital.

Bryan A
December 17, 2022 3:41 pm

According to the IEA coal use will drop as soon as European renewables start displacing coal
Coal will always be needed for energy production…

It’s needed to strip oxygen from Iron Oxide to purify iron and make strong steel to manufacture masts capable of supporting giant generation nacelles making intermittent wind energy possible.

It’s also needed to strip Oxygen from the Silica (Silicon Dioxide) molecule and produce pure Silicon for manufacturing Solar PV Cells making intermittent Solar Farm generation possible.

Its also needed to generate the reliable energy required to forge the materials necessary to build a modern society.

RickWill
December 17, 2022 3:49 pm

I also expect coal use to drop over the next few years,

This is a narrow perspective and wrong. Coal plant construction is still outpacing coal plant closures. The world will consume more coal for a long time to come. Its only partial replacement is nuclear power. All the “renewable” stuff is an energy sink.

China has to consume coal to make all the useless stuff demanded by western economies.

Chris Hanley
December 17, 2022 4:00 pm

world’s coal consumption will remain at similar levels in the following years in the absence of stronger efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy

There are no such things as ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ energy.
Wind and solar together provided around 5% of the world primary energy consumption in 2021 (Our World in Data).
Despite the best efforts in developed countries like confusing the public with manipulated language (‘clean’ energy CO2 ‘pollution’ etc.) together with mandates and subsidies, tolerance of the resulting additional costs and disruption look like reaching a limit.
There seems very little chance of fast developing countries falling for the same malarkey.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
AndyHce
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 17, 2022 4:18 pm

All it seems to take is a few religious fanatics at the higher levels of power.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 18, 2022 5:13 am

Wind and solar generated 10 percent of global electricity demand in 2021. Since electricity typically makes up around 20% of energy demand in most countries, this means that wind and solar made up 2% of world energy demand in 2021.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/wind-solar-electricity-global-energy/

Rud Istvan
December 17, 2022 5:28 pm

Most coal used this year was inevitable. Two obvious reasons.

  1. India and China won’t play the Paris game, are developing rapidly, and depend primarily on coal.
  2. EU is in dire straits after Russia turned off the natgas, and shuttered coal plants are being turned back on to keep from freezing.
HotScot
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 18, 2022 2:13 am

In the UK we were firing up mothballed coal fired stations before Russia turned off the gas.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  HotScot
December 19, 2022 9:40 am

Just don’t blend it with North American pelletized forests for greenwashing.

Craig Howard
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 19, 2022 3:02 pm

Not to mention the Euros are killing the price of pellets in America. $250/ ton to $330/ton in 5 years.

2hotel9
December 17, 2022 5:41 pm

Why? Because the only “renewable” energy sources on this planet are coal, gas, oil, hydro and nuclear. Wind and solar are total failures, they cannot produce enough electricity to support their own operation, much less sustain their own production. It is that simply, chi’drens.😎

niceguy12345
December 17, 2022 5:50 pm

Uber green progressive “make planet great again” Macron’s France:
Let’s restart the 600 MW coal unit of Saint-Avold (Moselle) that was close March, 31th.

John Hultquist
December 17, 2022 6:08 pm

– and this will moderate coal demand in the coming years.

These sorts of fluffy words — moderate & coming years — tell us nothing.
Moderate could mean acceleration slows, usage plateaus, usage declines slowly.
Does ‘coming years’ mean 5, 25, or 500?

HotScot
December 18, 2022 2:30 am

Santa like coal!

Santa-Crashing-At-Daingean.jpg
ferdberple
December 18, 2022 6:41 am

And inflation will be transitory.

ferdberple
December 18, 2022 6:54 am

energy efficiency and heat pumps
========
Friends installed a new heat pump. Their report The heat pump is near useless as temperatures go much below freezing. They had to back up the heat pump with a new gas furnace.

Drake
Reply to  ferdberple
December 18, 2022 8:56 am

Just like all unreliables, where you must install sufficient capacity of reliable to run the entire grid, when you install a heat pump, you must also install a redundant heating method for when it gets too cold for the heat pump to work.

Your friends have learned that first hand. The question is were they “sold” the system with false promises from the installer?

BTW: In the US for a Dwelling, all heat pumps installed in temperate or colder zones without any other in house heating system MUST have electric heat strips as part of the system. So I would assume your friends must have installed some type of mini-split system as opposed to a central air type system?

Now, I have researched installing mini-splits for zone air conditioning, living in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a large house that is not “fully” utilized, so as to cool only the rooms occupied, using the existing central gas AC/heating system for colder months. Heating the whole house with gas is just not very expensive. The pay back was in the years, about 10, so not worth the cost IMO, especially considering the added possibility of repairs for having multiple systems. If I were building NEW, I would probably use multiple mini-spits for cooling and a central furnace for heating. Since the cost between mini-split heat pumps and just AC systems are small, I would probably install heat pump units which, in Las Vegas, would work efficiently about 8 to 9 months out of the year.

ResourceGuy
December 19, 2022 9:37 am

How many jets went to COP27 again?

Gary Pearse
December 19, 2022 6:47 pm

“The world is close to a peak in fossil fuel use, with coal set to be the first to decline”

Do these people (IEA) really not know what lies ahead with the failure of renewables and the frenetic global scramble of EU/UK for fossil fuels to fill the energy shortfall threatening winter casualties of millions of ,their citizens? Does any thinking person believe that even stupid leaders would commit to jumping into tripling of deployment of fickle renewables after having had to go to fossil fuels at great cost to limit the disaster of their original decisions to deploy renewables?

Even if they did plan to jump back in, a number of renewable firms have gone bankrupt already and willing investors have lost the apetite for investment in this industry (this is why ideologues have been trying to purloin pension funds). Germany has a number of early wind farms that need to be replaced and they have resisted doing so in the face of the enormous problems encountered with this ‘tech’.

No! A year or so ago, someone observed that there had been peak renewables in 2017! Naturally the phalanx of néomarxiste fixers have buried this observation. I predict that the 2017 peak renewables will remain so. This meme is dead. Its supporters are in denial now, but new governments are already emerging that will clean up this colossally expensive and damaging mess.

And this includes global institutions, universities and education itself, government departments and agencies, technical societies, NGOs etc., that that engaged in politically inspired counterfeit science.

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