Trump clings to coal as worldwide demand plummets

The writer has a master’s degree in conflict-resolution from Monterey Institute of International Studies in California and tweets at @ksabina

The writer has a master’s degree in conflict-resolution from Monterey Institute of International Studies in California and tweets at @ksabina

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy released Tuesday shows global coal production fell by more than 6 percent a year ago. "The new normal is that all of this growth is coming from developing economies", particularly China and India, BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale told reporters.

While that slowdown resulted from sluggish global economic activity, it also stemmed from greater efficiency in engines and factories, he said.

Among fossil fuels, oil consumption grew at the fastest annual rate at 1.6 percent past year as low crude prices boosted consumption. That's the largest decline in the history of BP's survey, which the British energy company has issued annually for more than six decades.

USA shale, or tight, oil production fell dramatically past year but has rebounded strongly in recent months as oil prices have risen, a factor that the market should get used to, Dale said.

"U.S. tight oil is like a Weeble: It falls off but then it bounces back up again", Dale said. China led the way with a 7.9 percent decline in coal production (140 mtoe), followed by the USA with a 19 percent drop (85 mtoe).

Gas saw similar growth to oil. China's coal production fell by almost 8 percent.

Renewables such as solar and wind power were the fastest-growing source of energy, rising by 12 percent and accounting for a third of the overall growth in demand.

Renewable energy was the fastest-growing source of electricity past year, increasing by 12 percent.

This was most profound in China, which became the world's largest single producer of renewable power previous year, overtaking the U.S., while the Asia Pacific overtook Europe and Eurasia to become the largest producing region.

"The contrasting fortunes of renewables and coal - had much to do with the longer-run energy transition that is underway", Dale continued. "We need to keep up our focus and efforts on reducing carbon emissions", BP CEO Bob Dudley said.

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