Fall in coal production in the United States in 2020
Global coal production fell by 4.5% in 2020, despite a rising production in China and India
After three years of growth, global coal production decreased again in 2020, as slowing electricity consumption reduced coal demand. Coal production grew by 1.4% in China, the largest coal producer (49% of the global output), for the fourth year in a row. It also increased slightly in India despite a lower consumption but contracted strongly in Indonesia over lower domestic demand and tight import restrictions in China, returning to its 2018 level. In other large coal producing countries, production continued to follow a downward trend, that was aggravated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It collapsed in the United States (-24%) in a context of lower demand from the power sector and fell in Russia (-9%) and Australia (-6%). In the EU, coal production contracted by more than 16%, decreasing in all countries, especially in Germany and Poland, due to a lower electricity demand and rising CO2 prices. It also fell in Turkey, in South Africa and collapsed in Colombia (-23%, in a context of national lockdown followed by a 3-month strike at a major mine).
Need more data? All the information presented in this energy data tool are extracted from Global Energy & CO2 Data service, the most comprehensive and up-to-date database on coal and lignite. Access to the whole coal value chain information: reserves, production, trade, prices, consumption per sector and indicators.Discover this service
According to preliminary statistics from the Indian Ministry of Coal, India’s production of non-coking coal and lignite declined by 1.7% in the fiscal year 2020-21 to 708 Mt, including 671 Mt of non-coking coal (-1%) and 37 Mt of lignite (-12%). Of the total output of non-coking coal, 96% was produced the public sector, including 83% by Coal India Limited (CIL). Most of the lignite was extracted by NLC India Limited (53%). The country imported 164 Mt of non-coking coal in 2020-21 (-17%), mainly from Indonesia (56%), South Africa (19%) and Australia (11%).
Spain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (including LULUCF) decreased by 13.7% in 2020 to 271.5 MtCO2eq (-6.4% compared to 1990 level), according to preliminary data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). This drop is due to an increase renewable electricity generation, the fall in coal use, and activity and mobility limitations associations with the COVID-19 pandemic. CO2 accounted for 78% of total GHG emissions in 2020, followed by methane (14%). Transport represented 28% of total GHG emissions in 2020, followed by industry (21%), agriculture and livestock (14%), electricity generation (10%), households and services (8%) and waste (5%). GHG emissions from installations subject to the EU ETS declined by 18.7% in 2020 compared to 2019. Emissions from diffuse sectors decreased by 10% and those from dometic air transport nearly halved in 2020 (-48%). The LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) sector is estimated to have removed 13.5% of Spain’s gross GHG emissions (36.6 MtCO2eq).
South Korea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 7.3% in 2020 to 649 MtCO2eq (i.e. -10.9% compared with the 2018 peak of 729 MtCO2eq). GHG emissions have been driven down by South Korea's energy and industrial sectors (-7.8% and -7.1%, respectively). In the power sector, total emissions decreased by 12.4% due to temporary shutdowns of coal-fired power plants resulting in lower coal-fired power generation and due to an increased renewable power generation. Emissions from the transport sector (included in the energy sector) contracted by 4.1%, owing to reduced travel (COVID-19-related restrictions) and the continuous deployment of low-emission vehicles. Residential emissions grew by only 0.3%, while emissions from business and public sectors fell by 9.9%. In the industrial sector (-7.1%), the reduced activity affected the energy-intensive branches such as chemicals (7.6% drop in GHG emissions), steel (-2.5%) and cement (-8.9%).
Australia's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dipped by 5% in 2020 (-26.1 MtCO2eq) to 499 MtCO2eq, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. GHG emissions from the power sector declined by 4.9% but still accounted for a third of total GHG emissions in Australia. In addition, fugitive emissions (10% of total GHG emissions in 2020) declined by 8.8%, partly due to a lower coal production, and emissions from transport (18% of total GHG emissions in 2020) contracted by 12.1%, because of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2020, Australia's GHG emissions stood 20.1% below their 2005 level (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement). The country has committed to reduce its emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels.