What’s the fastest-growing energy source in the world? Solar? Nope. Natural gas? Nope. It’s old king coal. Yep, coal is often seen as one of the world’s dirtiest power sources. But it’s also one of the cheapest. And that led to an explosion of coal use in developing countries last year.
The industry is worried that new regulations that President Obama pushed through the EPA will destroy coal. But coal will survive the war that’s being waged against it. And many of the big coal companies could thrive.
Global consumption of coal grew 3% last year. That put coal’s share of total global energy use at 30.1%, just below the 32.9% for crude oil, according to a new report from energy giant BP (NYSE:BP).
In China, coal accounted for 67.5% of the total energy demand. Now here’s the crazy part. Other sources of power – solar, wind, you name it – are growing so fast in China that even though coal provided more than two-thirds of energy supplied, it was the lowest share coal had of the total energy market since they’ve been keeping records. Coal was 69% of China’s energy supply in 2011.
Worldwide, energy consumption rose 2.3% in 2013. That’s faster than the 1.8% rise of