Breakdown by country (Mt)



Strong decline in coal consumption in the EU.

New decline in global coal consumption (-2.6%) despite growth in China (+1%)

After two years of recovery, global coal consumption declined again in 2019 (-2.6%). Public and private climate policies, combined with competition from cheaper gas-fired and renewable power generation have accelerated the closure of many coal-fired power plants and resulted in dramatic cuts in coal consumption in the EU (-18%, including significant drops in Germany, Poland and Spain) and in the USA (-12%, where nearly 14 GW of coal-fired power capacity was retired in 2019).
Coal consumption grew by 1% in China, which accounts for half of the global coal demand. The Chinese government aims at substituting coal use with gas and renewables but the coal-to-gas conversion policy relaxed in 2019.
In India, the second largest coal consumer worldwide, coal consumption declined by 3.4%, due to higher hydropower and renewable generation that cut coal needs in the power sector.
Coal consumption slowed down in Indonesia (+8.9%, i.e. half its 2018 growth), and decreased in South Korea and Japan, due to a lower demand from the power sector (reduced electricity consumption, nuclear competition, and air pollution constraints).
It also slowed down in large coal producing countries such as Russia (coal-to-gas switch in the power sector) and South Africa (reduced operations at coal-fired power plants due to technical issues) and even contracted in Australia and Turkey.

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France misses its 2020 renewables target by 4 percentage points

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, the share of renewables in France’s final energy consumption reached 19.1% in 2020, including 24.8% for electricity, 23.3% for heating and 9.2% for transports. The growth of renewable energies in France has been important since 2005, especially with the development of biofuels, solid biomass, heat pumps, wind and solar power. The country, which aimed to achieve a target of a 23% share of renewables in final consumption by 2020, including 27% for electricity, 33% for heating and cooling and 10% for transports, has missed its targets.


Switzerland’s power demand declined by 2.6% in 2020

Switzerland’s electricity consumption declined by 2.6% in 2020 to 55.7 TWh, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. This decline was due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns (-4.3% in electricity consumption in the first quarter and -7.8% in the second quarter of 2020), and to economic trends (2.9% drop in the GDP), weather conditions (the number of heating degree days fell by 4.4% compared to 2019) and energy efficiency improvements to a lesser extent.


EU ETS GHG emissions declined by 13.3% in 2020

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell by 13.3% in 2020, due to an 11.2% decrease in emissions from stationary installations (power plants and manufacturing plants) to 1.331 MtCO2eq and a 64.1% decrease in emissions from aviation, a sector which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to 24.5 MtCO2eq. 

The power sector posted a 14.9% decrease, as a result of reduced electricity consumption due to the pandemic and continued decarbonisation trends, including both the switch from coal to gas-fired power generation, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewables. In addition, emissions from industry decreased by an average of 7%, with reductions observed in most sectors, including iron and steel (-11.7%), cement (-5.1%), chemicals (-4%) and refineries (-8.1%).


France’s primary energy consumption decreased by 9.9% in 2020

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France’s primary energy consumption decreased by 9.9% in 2020 to 2,571 TWh. Final energy consumption declined by 7.9% to 1,637 TWh in 2020, including 147 TWh for non-energy uses (final consumption for energy use at constant climate declined by 5.6% in 2020). The lockdown measures and travel restrictions had a significant impact on energy consumption in the transport and industrial sectors: energy consumption fell by nearly 16% in transport and by 6.5% in industry. The energy consumption of residential and tertiary building adjusted for climate variations increased slightly (+1.5% with climate corrections).

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