Global Coal Industry
The global coal industry is estimated to grow over 95% by 2015, approaching close to $920 billion in worth. This would represent more than 45% growth for the five-year period to 2015, exceeding 11 billion short tons of consumption. Last year alone, coal was worth almost $470 billion in 2010, up nearly 18%, reports MarketLine. Coal meets almost 30% of the world’s primary energy demand and provides more than 40% of global electricity, according to the World Coal Association (WCA).
Coal, a fossil fuel derived from waterbed vegetation, is distributed unevenly worldwide with the greatest reserves in Russia, the US, India and China. There are more than 845 billion tons of coal throughout the world, according to WCA estimates. Currently, the earth has a great enough coal supply to last nearly 120 years. Over the next two decades, the world’s consumption of coal will increase almost 55%. Environmental concern over coal as an energy source is being mitigated by the fact that CO2 emissions from coal plants have been slashed 40% this century compared with the last century.