Surge in Turkey's coal consumption .
The 2018 rise in coal consumption was driven by India and China, the two largest coal-consuming economies, with Turkey and Russia also contributing to the rising demand.
China, responsible for nearly half of global coal consumption, has seen its second consecutive annual increase, driven mainly by power generation and some industrial sectors such as steel, chemicals and cement. Coal consumption increased again in 2018, against a slowdown in economic growth and gas supply worries lowering emphasis on a shift from coal to gas space heating. This goes against previous efforts to “green” the economy whilst maintaining prosperity.
Consistent increases in economic growth and thus domestic demand for coal in India, primarily from industry and power generation, are outstripping the build out of renewables and cleaner, more efficient technologies.
The largest decrease in coal consumption comes from the United States (-4%), reaching its lowest level in 40 years as a result of the retirement of coal-fired power plants (15 GW of capacity closed in 2018), stronger emissions standards and the availability of cheaper natural gas for electricity generation.
Coal consumption fell for the sixth year in a row in Europe, due to climate policies, increased competition from renewables and gas, and higher CO2 emissions costs (three-fold increase in 2018) in the European Union; on the contrary, coal demand rose by 11% in Turkey.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a total of 60.4 GW of wind capacity was installed worldwide in 2019 (19% more than in 2018), raising the global wind capacity by 10% to more than 650 GW.
According to the Indian government, the installed carbon-free capacity in the country increased by 72% between late March 2014 and the end of February 2020, from 81 GW to 139 GW. Around 55% of new installations between 2014 and 2020 (58 GW) were solar power plants (32 GW), followed by wind (17 GW, 29%) and large hydro (5 GW, 8%). In addition, 2.8 GW of other renewable sources (biomass, small-hydropower and waste-to-energy) and 2 GW of nuclear were added. Total investment in the Indian carbon-free energy sector reached US$75bn over the 2014-2020 period, with foreign direct investments accounting for 8% of it (US$6bn).
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global offshore wind power capacity increased by 6.1 GW to 29.5 GW in 2019. Offshore wind installations accelerated compared with 2018, when 4.5 GW were added, and accounted for 10% of the new wind power installations.
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), power generation in the Netherlands rose by 5.7% in 2019 to nearly 121 TWh (+6.5 TWh for net power generation). Most of the increase came from thermal power plants, especially from gas-fired power plants, whose power generation surged by 23% (+13 TWh at 71 TWh) in a context of low gas prices and high carbon prices; meanwhile, coal-fired power generation fell by 34% (-10 TWh at 17.4 TWh). According to CBS, renewable power generation rose by 18.5% (+3.5 TWh at 22.4 TWh) in 2019 (+8.5% for wind, including +14% for onshore wind, and +40% for solar), exceeding coal-fired power generation for the first time.