Report: Asian electricity projects could drive coal to $1.5T global market by 2025

Chinese, Indian and Anglo companies will lead the way as a global coal market grows at a double-digit rate this year, according to a new report.

ResearchandMarkets had delivered a report forecasting that the global coal, lignite and anthracite market will grow from $1.03 trillion to $1.15 trillion in 2021. This 12 percent growth projection is mainly due to companies and operations emerging and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the report’s summary says.

Major players in this sector include Coal India Ltd., ShenHua Group, BHP Billiton, China Coal Energy Co. and Anglo American plc. ResearchandMarkets’ report noted that Asia Pacific accounted for 80 percent of market in 2020, while North America represented 7 percent of the coal, lignite and anthracite markets.

Another recent report by environmental advocates Urgewald and partners indicated that global coal project financing still totals about $1 trillion, despite political pressures in developed countries. The pressing need for electricity in less economically developed nations is spurring the renewed vitality of coal-fired investment, according to reports.

India’s significant coal mining operations should continue to feed its power generation sector, where coal-fired power represents more than 60 percent of the electricity resources.

See our coverage on the Future of Coal-fired Generation

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Coal-fired power plants emit far more carbon and other air pollutants and are more expensive than gas-fired and renewable facilities, according to reports. Coal is responsible for more than 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the power generation industry, the report summary says.

Even so, some growth in coal, lignite and anthracite is expected for the next five years as the recovery from COVID-19 restrictions hopefully continues. The market should reach nearly $1.5 trillion by 2025, according to ResearchandMarkets.

Coal-fired power still generates close to 20 percent of electricity capacity in the U.S. despite hundreds of plant closings in the past decade. The local percentage of the U.S. generation mix, however, likely will continue to decline as utilities embrace lower carbon resources such as wind, solar and natural gas.

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