The bulk of coal produced worldwide is thermal coal used for power generation. It is also supplied as fuel to other industries such as the cement sector.
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 2011, seaborne thermal coal demand accounted for approximately 790 Mt and was supplied from a larger number of countries, with coal producers operating in a highly-competitive global marketplace.
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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