Fossil fuel orders continue to jump in the face of growing volatility, new research found.
Coal consumption recently hit a record high, rising 3.3 per cent to 8.3 billion tonnes during 2022.
The International Energy Agency’s latest mid-year coal market update shows buyers from China and India bought about two thirds of global supply. This represented double the amount the rest of the world purchased in the period, and is likely to increase to 70 per cent before the end of 2023. This demand also fuelled a 7 per cent rise in global coal trade.
In comparison United States and European Union orders dropped 30 per cent to just 10 per cent since the 1990s. EU coal consumption is predicted to significantly drop before Christmas and be replaced with renewable, nuclear and hydropower energy. US demand is tipped to fall due to a national shift towards natural gas.
Asian nations also produced high coal volumes during March 2023. China surpassed 400 million tonnes (Mt), India 100Mt and Indonesia almost 50Mt. “Price sensitive” buyers chose those destinations because producers were “cheaper”.
“Demand remains stubbornly high in Asia even as many of those economies have significantly ramped-up renewable energy sources,” IEA energy markets and security director Keisuke Sadamori said in a public statement.