Global coal consumption and production rose in Australia in 2018, reflecting positive results for the coal industry according to new data released by BP in its 2019 statistical review of world energy.
The report showed a continued bounce back in coal in 2018 with consumption up by 1.4 per cent and production increasing by 4.3 per cent, with the increase being at the fastest rate in five years.
The strong growth of the coal industry in Australia is reinforced by the fact exports were largely going to Asia according to chief executive of the Coal Council of Australia, Greg Evans.
“Asian economies are expanding and need affordable and reliable electricity which coal provides, this growth is being driven by the construction of high-efficiency low emission (HELE) power stations,” he said.
“Those coal industry detractors who repeatedly say demand for coal is languishing need to understand the facts and appreciate our coal industry has a long future and will remain an important part of regional New South Wales and Queensland.”
In further positive news for Australian producers, natural gas consumption and production was up by over five per cent, representing one of the strongest rates of growth for both demand and output for over 30 years.
The overall global demand for energy grew by 2.9 per cent, resulting in a two per cent growth in carbon emissions, a surge faster than any time since 2010–11.
The results represent a contradiction between societal expectations and reality according to BP chief economist, Spencer Dale.
“There is a growing mismatch between societal demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress, with energy demand and carbon emissions growing at their fastest rate for years — the world is on an unsustainable path,” he said.
BP group chief executive Bob Dudley reciprocated this concern, highlighting the importance of transitioning to an economy less dependent on carbon emissions.
“The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the necessary eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions, as I have said before, this is not a race to renewables, but a race to reduce carbon emissions across many fronts,” he said.