Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

World coal production suffers biggest drop on record, BP study says

Underground Coal Gasification Market World coal production suffers biggest drop on record, BP study says
Andrew Cummings | 15 June, 2017, 02:34

U.S. President Donald Trump declared Thursday he was pulling the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat global warming and distancing the country from its closest allies overseas.

Worldwide coal consumption fell by 1.7 percent previous year while production dropped by 6.2 percent, or 231 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), according to the 2017 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

BP said coal production was declining along with demand for the commodity as the U.S., Europe and China all consume more natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Coal has also been squeezed globally in recent years by the rapid growth of renewable power generation, which BP found had continued apace last year.

"The fortunes of coal appear to have taken a decisive break from the past", writes Spencer Dale, BP's chief economist. Low energy prices kept oil and gas production flat, while coal demand dropped for the second year in a row, down 1.7 percent as the United States and China curbed the fuel. Many oil and gas companies are starting to shift towards low-carbon models in the face of growing concerns around climate change.

As mentioned, energy demand also saw weak growth, increasing by only 1% in 2016, part of a longer plateau that saw energy demand grow only 0.9% in 2015 and 1% in 2014 - compared with a 10-year average of 1.8% per year.

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While providing only 4% of total primary energy, renewables represented nearly a third of the total growth in energy demand in 2016.

"The combination of weak energy demand growth and the shifting fuel mix meant that global carbon emissions are estimated to have grown by only 0.1 per cent - making 2016 the third consecutive year of flat or falling emissions", the company said.

Global coal production fell 6.2%, the most ever recorded, said BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, a closely watched compendium of information about global energy trends. Indeed, the report shows that the shift away from coal is as decisive as it is widespread, with the United Kingdom consuming 52.5% less in 2016, the USA dipping 8.8%, and China's consumption dropping 1.6%, too. China is vowing to invest $361 billion in renewables by 2020, yet the Trump administration is doubling down on fossil fuel production, all while criticizing China for not doing enough to control its emissions. BP called the stalled emissions "a very significant break from the past", but acknowledged that they would need to fall if countries are to meet the Paris deal's goal of keeping temperature rises in check.

This week, BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy on 2016 data.

"Global oil demand grew by 1.6 Mb/d in 2016".

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