Thermal coal is the most abundant source of fossil fuel energy in the world and it accounts for more than 40% of electricity generation.
Miner operating a remote controlled continuous miner cutting machine at Goedehoop Colliery, South Africa
About 5.3 billion tonnes of hard coal is produced globally each year with the majority used in the country of production. In 2012, export seaborne thermal
coal accounted for 910 Mt or 17.5% of total coal production, with a large proportion of seaborne production coming from four key basins: Indonesia, Australia, Colombia and South Africa. Demand for seaborne thermal coal has increased by 73.5% since 2001, and is expected to continue to grow for at least the next decade, driven by India and China’s import requirements.
Demand for thermal coal is driven by demand for electricity and is also affected by the availability and price of competing fuels such as oil and gas, and increasingly, the cost of carbon. Global demand is also affected by alternative generating technologies such as nuclear power and renewable energy.
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