The demand for coal as one of the top energy sources sped up to unprecedented rates over the last ten years. It has slowed down a bit, with China being the top consumer and India coming in second as well as being the top seaborne importer of coal. According to IEA, the latest report is showing that around the globe, the estimate will be that by the year 2017, 1.2 billion tons of coal will be burned each year. The increase is comparable to the current coal consumption of the U.S. and Russia, combined.
The world wide love affair with coal touches about every country, but in the U.S., it is natural gas that reigns supreme. This unique situation is based on the assumption that a more efficient gas market, combined with flexible prices and the ability to locate gas via unconventional resources has brought an alternative to coal use. Coal, compared to oil does reduce CO2 emissions as well as trickling down to the average consumer in the reduction of electricity costs, but it remains a high pollution resource when compared to renewable energy sources.
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