Energy Information Administration
Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585
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In 2004, coal accounted for 26 percent of total world energy consumption (Figure 55). Of the coal produced worldwide in 2004, 65 percent was shipped to electricity producers, 31 percent to industrial consumers, and most of the remaining 4 percent to coal consumers in the residential and commercial sectors. Coal’s share of total world energy consumption is projected to increase to 28 percent in 2030, and in the electric power sector its share is projected to rise from 43 percent in 2004 to 45 percent in 2030.
Although coal deposits are widely distributed, 67 percent of the world’s recoverable reserves are located in four countries: the United States (27 percent), Russia (17 percent), China (13 percent), and India (10 percent).
In the IEO2007 reference case, while natural gas is the fastest-growing energy source for electricity generation worldwide, coal continues to provide the largest share of the energy used for electric power production(Figure 63). In 2004, coal-fired generation accounted for 41 percent of world electricity supply; in 2030, its share is projected to be 45 percent. Sustained high prices for oil and natural gas make coal-fired generation more attractive economically, particularly in nations that are rich in coal resources, which include China, India, and the United States. The 2.8-percent projected annual growth rate for coal-fired electricity generation worldwide is exceeded only by the 3.3-percent rate projected for natural-gas fired generation.
Sources: 2004: Derived from Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Annual 2004 (May-July 2006), web site www.eia.doe.gov/iea. 2030: EIA, System for the Analysis of Global Energy Markets (2007).