United Kingdom leads the way in worldwide transition away from coal

Thursday, 15 Jun, 2017

The period was the lowest three-year average for emissions growth since 1981 to 1983, BP said.

Global coal consumption dropped 1.7% last year, and coal consumption in China, which burned half the coal used last year, fell by 1.6% last year, according to the BP report.

The US and China continue to house the world's largest coal reserves with figures standing at 22.1% of the world's total in the US and 21.4% in China.

The world consumed 1.6% more oil in 2016, with India's use rising 7.8%, or 325K bbl/day, and China's use adding 3.3%, according to the report. China's production fell by a record 7.9 per cent (1685.7mtoe), while United States output was 19 per cent (364.8mtoe) lower. China led the way with a 7.9 percent decline in coal production (140 mtoe), followed by the USA with a 19 percent drop (85 mtoe). "Any sense of trying to kill tight oil makes no sense".

Global coal usage fell steeply for the second year running in 2016, in what BP hailed as a "decisive break from the past".

"U.S. tight oil is like a Weeble: It falls off but then it bounces back up again", Dale said.

Natural gas and, to a lesser extent, renewables are replacing coal in the power sector as both become more widely available and cost-competitive.

In contrast, the challenges faced by the global coal industry continued, with coal use falling 1.7 per cent on the back of weak demand from the U.S. and China - a trend experts are increasingly sceptical can be reversed.

The annual report found that renewables were the fastest growing energy source in 2016, accounting for nearly a third of the increase, despite having a share of just 4%. Some industry leaders, including the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have warned that a lack of investment in new projects will eventually lead to less production and potentially price increases.

Global carbon emissions remained flat for the third consecutive year during 2016, as a sharp fall in coal use, rapid growth in renewables, and energy efficiency improvements all combined to hold down emissions levels. China, where the government in investing hundreds of billions in green energy programs, overtook the United States as the world's largest producer of renewable energy. All this meant that carbon emissions were essentially flat in 2016, BP said.

As far as hydroelectricity is concerned, the level of production in Russian Federation rose by 9.5 percent in 2016, against an average decrease of 0.3 percent over the last decade.

India's industrial output in May rose at a much slower than expected pace, indicating taut monetary policy and high inflation were acting as brakes on. OPEC said Tuesday it expects oil demand to rise by 2 million barrels a day this year.