The Future of Global Energy? Looks Like Coal

That the Obama Administration is trying to kill coal in the United States to please its greenie base is not news, but it won’t make a lick of difference to the trend of soaring global coal use, as my pal Robert Bryce points out in the Los Angeles Times today:

Prohibiting new coal-fired power plants may please President Obama’s domestic supporters, but it would leave global coal demand and CO2 emissions almost unchanged. Indeed, over the last decade, even if CO2 emissions in the U.S. had fallen to zero, global emissions still would have increased.

Consider Vietnam, where electricity use increased by 227% from 2001 to 2010. Its coal demand jumped by 175% during the same period, and it had the world’s fastest percentage growth in CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, China has about 650,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation capacity (more than twice the capacity in the U.S.), and it plans to build an additional 273,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity.

If you want to get an idea of how fast China, India, and other developing countries are expanding their use of coal, check out Frank Clemente’s invaluable site, and in particular, some of the charts in this post about coal:

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