Coal growth forecast to reign for decades

June 25, 2008

eia.jpgRenewable power sources like wind and solar are some of the fastest growing sectors in the energy business.

But this graph forecasts that coal, the dirtiest power source in terms of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, will still dominate global power generation growth for decades into the future.

The forecast, released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistics branch of the Department of Energy, shows that global power generated from coal will grow 115 percent to 15.36 trillion kilowatt hours from 2005 to 2030.  It assumes no changes in emissions laws or policy.

Global power generation from renewables including hydropower, meanwhile, will grow 58 percent to 5 trillion kilowatt hours over the same time period.

The world is trying to come to an agreement on a new greenhouse gas regulation pact at a U.N. meeting in Copenhagen late next year. Would a new pact eventually make this coal forecast overcooked?

5 comments

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International investment markets are declining. This is a good indication rising oil prices are wreaking havoc with the world economy. The real question is will citizens from developed countries pressure their governments to reach a sweeping international accord, or simply address inflationary concerns by making more types of energy available regardless of environmental impact. I think the latter becomes more likely if too much time passes allowing the world ecomomic troubles to worsen before any agreements are made on energy production.

Posted by george | Report as abusive

The good news is that the price of coal is up 400% from the beginning of 2008. At some point people will realize that not only is alternative energy cleaner, but cheaper too!

Posted by timetobike | Report as abusive

The issues do not only concern ‘Developed’ nations. Any accord must take on-board the needs of developing nations whose initial energy requirements are likely to peak above the mean energy consumption of developed nations. The developed nations therefore need to calculate into any agreement, suficient reductions of emmisions in order to off-set the developing nations peeak rates of energy consumption! Sadly, I suspect this to be an issue that will receive adequate attention.

Posted by Andrew C | Report as abusive

So is anyone still pretending that we’ve got a hope of meeting the IPPC CO2 target anytime in the future? It sounds more and more unlikely.

[...] growth forecast to reign for decades Environment

As a transition stage, coal is still an indispensable part of the energy blocks. To some extend, coal is better than oil. Political wills and economic stesses will eventually collide, deciding which is final winner(s).