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Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic is a veteran investigative journalist covering Europe and the Middle East, and a senior consultant for Divergente Research.

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EIA: Coal Is Dying As Renewables Rise


World energy consumption is forecast to grow 28 percent by 2040, with China and India leading the growth spurt, and demand set to rise for everything but coal.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) new International Energy Outlook for this year, Asian countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes China and India, will account for more than 60 percent of the projected energy consumption growth between 2015 and 2040.

Fossil fuels will still rule the day, accounting for more than three-quarters of global energy consumption through 2040, but renewables and nuclear will outpace fossil fuels in terms of growth.

(Click to enlarge)

The EIA sees renewables as having the biggest growth spurt, clocking in at a projected 2.3 percent per year increase in consumption between 2015 and 2040, followed by nuclear power, with consumption expected to rise 1.5 percent every year until 2040.

Natural gas wins the position of fastest-growing fossil fuel in the EIA’s outlook, which projects worldwide consumption to increase 1.4 percent annually, driven by abundant supplies and ever-increasing production. Predominately petroleum-based liquid fuels will see their global consumption fall from 33 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2040 as part of the total energy mix, though they will remain the most widely consumed energy source throughout this period. Related: “Super Critical” Coal Shortage Sends India Scrambling For NatGas

Coal is being sidelined, as it continues to be replaced by natural gas, renewables, and nuclear. Total world energy consumption of coal is expected to decline exponentially from 27 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2040 as part of total world energy consumption.

(Click to enlarge)

China is the biggest force keeping coal still in the game at this stage. However, even for China, the largest consumer of coal in the world, coal consumption is expected to decline by 0.6 percent every year until 2040, the EIA said.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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  • Richard on September 15 2017 said:
    The EIA analysis is severely flawed. It shows a straight-line increase in renewables, whereas previous trends indicate strongly that growth in wind and solar will be exponential as prices come down. As for nuclear... it is already uncompetitively expensive and will no doubt continue to be so. Even the relatively-expensive offshore wind is now cheaper than nuclear, so the business case for new nuclear does not stack up, even without regard to environmental and security concerns.

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