Monday, February 11, 2013

Coal to Match Oil as World's Largest Source of Primary Energy

Coal Use Increasing in China and India--and Europe

Coal use is declining in the United States. Within five years, however, the dirtiest fossil fuel will compete with oil as the world's largest source of primary energy. Developing nations are embracing coal; but increased coal use in Europe--a temporary surge, some say--also accounts for coal's "unwelcome renaissance." Read more.

Europe's coal boom makes a mockery of the continent's green energy shift. But the embrace of coal by a giant utility like Germany's RWE is also likely to spur development of manmade coal. Click here to read about bio-coal, a coal substitute, which, if made from sustainable supplies of biomass, is considered carbon neutral. Bio-coal can be blended (co-fired) with coal in coal-burning power plants to reduce coal use--and pollution.

By 2020, global demand for bio-coal is expected to exceed 70 million metric tons per year, with European utilities, not surprisingly, driving demand.