Rise in coal production in China in 2018.
China strengthened its position as the world’s largest producer of coal and lignite (45% of the world production). In 2018 the country approved more than CNY 45bn (US$6.7bn) of new coal mining projects. Recent domestic gas shortages weakened government motivations to switch from coal to gas used for space heating and maintained an appetite for coal. China coal and lignite production accounted for 70% of the global rise.
Increased coal imports in China (up 4% on 2018, the highest growth in four years) supported a strong international coal market enabling production growth in Australia, Indonesia and Russia, three of its main coal suppliers.
India saw a large increase in production (+5.3% in 2018), driven by domestic demand and government ambitions to lessen the reliance on imports. Coal production fell in the United States on 39-year low domestic coal consumption, despite increased exports, and continued to decline in the European Union as member states increasingly commit to rid coal from the economy.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the installed wind power capacity in the United States has reached 100 GW in the third quarter of 2019 (from over 94 GW at the end of 2018), enough to supply power to 32 million US households. Wind installations accelerated in the third quarter of 2019, with 8 new large power projects totalling 1.9 GW commissioned.
According to the annual report on the functioning of the European carbon market, greenhouse gras (GHG) emissions from installations covered by the EU ETS decreased by 4.1% (around 73 MtCO2eq) to 1,682 MtCO2eq in 2018, thanks to a 7.3% drop in emissions from the power and heat production sector (down to 913 MtCO2eq). Verified emissions from the industrial sector remained stable (-0.1%) at 769 MtCO2eq, while those from aviation grew by 3.9% to 67 MtCO2eq.
According to the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China, energy supply continued to improve in the first nine months of 2019: domestic crude oil production increased by 1.2%, compared to the same period of 2018, to 143 Mt, reversing three consecutive years of decline. Domestic gas production also grew by 9.5% year-on-year to nearly 128 bcm. Coal production should continue to increase, as 40 new large and medium-sized coal mines with a cumulated capacity of 196 Mt were approved during the 9-month period.
Between January and June 2019, the US net gas sales abroad reached 4.1 bcf/d (116 mcm/d) on average, a level two times superior to the net exports in 2018. According to the EIA, the expansion of US gas trade surplus is mostly due to the increase of LNG exports.