IEA said it expected worldwide coal consumption to continue growing at a rate of 0.8% a year through to 2020, with the strongest growth seen in ASEAN (up 7.8% a year) and India (up 4.1% per annum). India is seen as replacing China as the world’s largest coal importer, with Australia deposing Indonesia as the largest exporter.
With key Asian economies turning to coal for affordable and abundant energy, some 400 GW of power generation capacity – roughly equal to the combined installed capacity of Japan and South Korea – is expected to be added across the region through to 2040, of which 40% will be coal-fired, the World Coal Association noted. Japan could build as many as 41 new coal-fired power plants over the next decade, with some 23 GW of new coal capacity under development as of 2015 compared to total capacity of 41 GW in 2014. According to the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI), South Korean coal demand will increase by over 6% to more than 140 million t in 2016, following the startup of nine new plants with a combined capacity of 7.7 GW.