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Global coal demand to ebb over the next five years

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Global coal demand to ebb over the next five years

Dwindling coal consumption in China and the U.S., coupled with renewables expansion, is projected to result in a reduced growth in global coal demand over the next five years, Reuters reported Dec. 12, citing the International Energy Agency.

The Paris-based agency expects global coal demand to reach 5.64 billion tonnes by 2021, slightly up from 5.40 billion tonnes in 2015, when coal demand fell for the first time this century. It equates to 0.6% average annual growth from 2015 to 2021, compared to the 2.5% average yearly growth over the past 10 years, Reuters wrote.

In China, coal consumption is projected to settle at 2.82 billion tonnes by 2021, a marginal decrease from 2.90 billion tonnes of coal equivalent in 2014. This decline is largely attributable to the country's efforts to tackle air pollution and curb overcapacity in the sector, the report said.

Further, demand for the fossil fuel in the U.S. is expected to fall to 475 million tonnes in 2021, while Europe will see its coal consumption slide to 337 million tonnes in the same year.

Nonetheless, coal will continue to be a major energy source in Asia, especially India, which is projected to have an annual average growth rate of 5% by 2021, the report said.