Critically assess the implications of China’s coal peak over coal industry in the world.
For several decades, China has been world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. Due to its huge coal consumption, the country is also world’s biggest polluter emitting billions of tonnes of CO2. The coal consumption in China peaked in 2013-2014, much earlier than expected and has been falling since then.
China is not alone in this story. For much of the last decade, the coal consumption has been flat or declining in most of the industrialized world. With China hitting a peak and consumption in other countries being flat, India is supposed to take over as largest consumer of coal. In fact, the IEA’s 2015 World Energy Outlook report had placed India at centre to watch out its influence on future of energy markets. It is expected that India will add almost 900 million metric tonnes of new coal demand by 2040. Since India is also trying to streamline its own domestic resources of coal and fixing its costly import bill, it would result in not much demand from outside. Thus, coal industry around the world has little hope to see a rebound in near future.