Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% in 2019, the largest drop on record.
This would amount to a reduction of around 300 terawatt hours (TWh), more than the combined total output from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK last year.
The analysis is based on monthly electricity sector data from around the world for the first seven to 10 months of the year, depending on data availability in each country.
The projected record is due to:
- Record falls in developed countries, including Germany, the EU overall and South Korea, which are not being matched by increases elsewhere. The largest absolute reduction is taking place in the US, as numerous large coalfired power plants close.
- A sharp turnaround in India, where on-grid coal power output is on track to fall for the first time in at least three decades.
- A flattening of generation growth in China.
The main counteracting force is from continuing increases in coal generation in south-east Asia, but demand from these countries is still small relative to the global total.
The global decline means an economic hit for coal plants.
The global decline means an economic hit for coal plants due to reduced average running hours, which are set to reach an all-time low.
The record drop also raises the prospect of slowing global CO2 emissions growth in 2019. Nevertheless, global coal use and emissions remain far higher than the level required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Press release: IEEFA update: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019
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