Fall in coal production in the United States in 2020
Global coal production fell by 4.5% in 2020, despite a rising production in China and India
After three years of growth, global coal production decreased again in 2020, as slowing electricity consumption reduced coal demand. Coal production grew by 1.4% in China, the largest coal producer (49% of the global output), for the fourth year in a row. It also increased slightly in India despite a lower consumption but contracted strongly in Indonesia over lower domestic demand and tight import restrictions in China, returning to its 2018 level. In other large coal producing countries, production continued to follow a downward trend, that was aggravated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It collapsed in the United States (-24%) in a context of lower demand from the power sector and fell in Russia (-9%) and Australia (-6%). In the EU, coal production contracted by more than 16%, decreasing in all countries, especially in Germany and Poland, due to a lower electricity demand and rising CO2 prices. It also fell in Turkey, in South Africa and collapsed in Colombia (-23%, in a context of national lockdown followed by a 3-month strike at a major mine).
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According to Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency, the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 3.6% in 2020 to 58 MtCO2eq. The decrease in emissions is reflected in most sectors with the exception of increases in residential, agriculture and public services. In the energy sector, GHG emissions fell by 7.9% (-0.74 MtCO2eq), as peat-fired power generation halved and renewable power generation increased noticeably (+15% from wind), covering 42% of the Irish power mix. Residential emissions grew by 9% (+0.59 MtCO2eq), as a result of colder temperatures, historic low oil prices (impacting heating choices), and home working. Emissions from transports fell by nearly 16% (-1.9 MtCO2eq) due to transport restrictions. Overall, Ireland's GHG emissions are still only 7% below 2005 level. The country committed under an EU agreement known as the Effort Sharing Decision to cut GHG emissions by 20% between 2005 and 2020.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 6.1 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in 2020 (down from 6.2 GW in 2019), including 3 GW in China, 1.5 GW in the Netherlands, and 0.7 GW in Belgium. More than 35 GW of offshore wind capacity is currently operational, with 29% of the total in the UK, 28% in China and 22% in Germany.
South Africa’s total greenhouse gas emissions excluding FOLU (forestry and other land use) increased by 14% between 2000 and 2017 to 513 MtCO2eq, according to the country’s 7th National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Report. The energy sector is the largest contributor to emissions excluding FOLU (80%) and is responsible for 97% of the increase over 2000-2017. Energy industries were responsible for 61% of emissions from the energy sector in 2017. This was followed by transport (13%), other sectors (9%) and manufacturing industries and construction (7%).
According to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEIAŞ), installed wind capacity in Turkey reached the 10 GW threshold in early August 2021. Most of the capacity is located in the Izmir province (1.7 GW), followed by Balıkesir (1,300 MW), Çanakkale (850 MW), Manisa (750 MW), and Istanbul (420 MW). Wind represented 10% of the installed capacity connected to the transmission network (10,010 MW out of 98,800 MW) and over half (51.9 GW) was considered "clean" electricity. In the first half of 2021, wind power accounted for around 9% of the power generation, replacing nearly US$1bn in gas imports.