Stinky old coal has been fueling our lives for centuries. It’s been providing us with heat and electricity, but it’s also been causing a bit of a ruckus in the air we breathe. Nobody likes smog!
Persistence of a powerhouse
Despite efforts to clean up our act and switch to cleaner forms of energy, coal is still a big player in the energy game. More and more countries are hoping to ditch coal and transition to greener options. But those don’t seem to be performing well enough, not just yet. As we move forward, coal is not a thing of the past.
Coal’s surprising endurance
Many countries use coal as a primary source of energy due to its abundance, relatively low cost, and established infrastructure for mining and power generation. Some of the major coal-producing and consuming countries include:
- China: China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, using it primarily for electricity generation. The country also has significant domestic coal reserves and is one of the largest producers and exporters of coal.
- India: India is the second-largest consumer of coal and relies heavily on coal for electricity generation. Like China, India has significant domestic coal reserves and is also a significant producer and exporter.
- United States: The United States has significant coal reserves and is a major producer of coal. While the use of coal for electricity generation has declined in recent years, it still remains a significant source of energy in the country.
- Russia: Russia has the largest coal reserves in the world and is a major producer and exporter of coal. The country relies heavily on coal for electricity generation and also uses it in various industrial processes.
- Australia: Australia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coal, and the country also relies heavily on coal for electricity generation.
Other countries that use coal include Poland, South Africa, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan. In developed countries, coal consumption is decreasing due to the increase of the use of natural gas, nuclear energy, and renewable energy but in developing countries, coal consumption is increasing due to the increase in population and economic growth.
Not going down without a fight
It’s not quite the day we bid farewell to our sooty friend and embrace a cleaner, greener future. Perhaps one day, the world will turn the page on coal and start a new chapter in energy history. But if we’re honest, it’s not tomorrow.