This year’s edition of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy was released last week, analysing the energy data and trends for 2019, and therefore not covering the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Coal was still the largest single source of power generation” 

While the report highlights the growth in renewable energy and a fall in coal consumption, Bernard Looney, BP CEO, remarked in his introduction that, “despite last year’s decline, coal was still the single largest source of power generation, accounting for over 36% of global power”. This statistic reinforces the IEA 2019 Coal Market Report which indicated that “coal has maintained its position as the single largest electricity source… and will remain stable through to 2024.”   

Coal consumption 

While BP reports a fall in global consumption of 0.6%, it also highlights increases in the use of coal across emerging economies, including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. 

 Furthermore, global coal production rose by 1.5% in 2019, mainly as a result of China and Indonesia providing significant increases. 

 Given the continued growth of coal in emerging economies, particularly across Asia, coal will remain an integral contributor to the energy mix and for industry development for the foreseeable future.