Worldwide Coal Use Set To Hit An All-Time High Due To Energy Crisis

(JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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Global coal consumption will reach an all-time record by the end of 2022 as shortages of natural gas have driven up energy prices, forcing countries to burn more coal, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The international community is set to use over 8 billion tons of coal in 2022, representing a 1.2% increase in coal consumption compared to 2021, as countries began using coal as a cheaper alternative to natural gas after prices spiked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the IEA’s annual coal report which was released Friday. The agency predicts that coal consumption will hover around such levels until 2025 as although coal demand could fall in the West, it remains high in developing Asian nations like China and India. (RELATED: Worldwide Coal Usage Skyrockets Ahead Of Major UN Climate Conference)

In 2022, coal-fired power generation is anticipated to reach a new high of over 10.3 terawatt hours, while coal production is anticipated to increase by 5.4% to roughly 8.3 billion tons, also a record high, according to the report. However, the agency does not anticipate that there will be a great deal of future investment in coal export operations as countries continue to transition to clean energy.

WELCH, WV – MAY 19: A tractor moves coal at a coal prep plant outside the city of Welch in rural West Virginia on May 19, 2017 in Welch, West Virginia. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has continuously disrupted gas deliveries to Europe, causing climate-focused nations such as Germany to restart coal-fired power plants to avoid running out of electricity. The EU is currently attempting to place a price cap on natural gas to bring down soaring electricity prices as the country begins to face colder temperatures, according to Politico.

India is predicted to experience the biggest increase in coal demand, at 7%, followed by the European Union (EU) at 6% and China at 0.4%. China, India and Indonesia, the world’s top three coal producers, will also all set new production records this year; China is racing to build a series of new emission-heavy coal plants to add a total of 8.63 gigawatts of coal power in the first quarter of 2022 alone, nearly 50% of the capacity approved in the whole of 2021.

The IEA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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