Renewables help fossil fuel’s decline in Europe and U.S but capacity rises in China

The world’s appetite for coal declined in 2019 after a two-year resurgence following the steepest ever drop in the use of coal-fired power plants.

Coal remains the world’s single largest source of electricity generation, half of which is produced in China and used to power Chinese power plants.

Keisuke Sadamori, a director at the IEA, said “this is not the end of coal” because Asia’s demand for electricity is continuing its steep ascent fuelled by strong economic growth and a growing number of homes with access to electricity. “The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20% in 1990 to almost 80% in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals,” he said.

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