There’s no certain long-term future for coal as a power source given the shift toward low-carbon options, but that’s not the case near-term, a U.N. agency said.
Coal accounts for about 30 percent of total energy used globally and about 40 percent of total electricity generation. Among fossil fuels, natural gas is a cleaner option when compared to oil or coal.
The International Energy Agency said global energy demand growth increased last year by 2.1 percent from 2016. Renewable forms of fuel, meanwhile, met about 25 percent of global energy demand growth. For electricity-generation, renewables increased 6.3 percent from 2016, the fastest rate for any type of fuel.
U.N. researchers at a commodities forum in Geneva recognized, however, that fossil fuels are necessary even as major economies shift toward cleaner options.