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Global demand for coal falls in 2016 for second year in a row


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UK leads trend away from coal, with use down 52.5%, while China continues to consume less of the dirtiest fossil fuel. Global demand for coal has fallen for the second consecutive year, according to a BP study, helped by the US and China burning less of the dirtiest fossil fuel. The UK was described as the “most extreme example” of the trend away from coal, which has resulted in use of the fuel returning to levels not seen since the start of the industrial revolution. The 1.7% fall in worldwide consumption in 2016 marks a striking reversal of fortune for coal, which was the largest source of energy demand growth until four years ago, BP said. Presenting the 66th edition of BP’s annual statistical review of energy, the oil company’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, said: “It feels to me like we’re seeing a decisive break with coal, relative to the past. I think the big story here is coal getting squeezed.” In the US, coal has been crowded out in power generation by cheaper, cleaner gas from the fracking boom and even US coal executives believe Donald Trump’s promise to bring back jobs in the industry cannot succeed. Coal consumption has now been declining for three years in China, as its economic boom and output has tailed off in energy-intensive sectors such as iron, steel and cement. The country’s decreasing reliance on the fuel, large population and enormous investment in renewables mean it is increasingly being seen as a global leader on climate change, after the US withdrew from the Paris agreement earlier this month. In the UK, three major coal power stations were wound up last year after a carbon tax was introduced and the last three underground coal mines closed. ritish coal consumption fell by 52.5% in 2016 and the trend away from the fuel has continued this year, with the first coal-free day since the 19th century. Dale said: “UK coal has gone through a complete cycle from the 1800s to now. I know it’s popular to criticise the UK [on energy policy] but part of this [decline in coal] is the rise in the carbon floor price introduced in 2015 and continued in 2016. The message from that is prices work.” Dr Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence, a UK-based thinktank, said the shift away from coal was striking. “The US saw an astonishing 9% fall in demand, while Chinese hunger for energy is being tempered by moves to a more sustainable growth pathway and the rapid expansion of renewables, which spells even further trouble for coal in the years to come,” he said.

Read More:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/13/coal-global-demand-falls-2016-second-year-in-row-fossil-fuel

Posted by on Jun 14 2017. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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