Coal might soon replace oil as the world’s largest fuel source in the future decades with its increasing demand and use globally. It is presently the second largest source of primary energy and largest source of electricity with a production of about 40% of global electricity. It is ruling as the most used energy fuel on account of its availability and affordability across the world.
There are about 869 BnT of Coal reserves worldwide which could last for over 115 years if the same level of production continues. China is the largest Coal producing countries followed by the United States, India and Australia. Catching with the competition, Indonesia’s Coal production has also witnessed a growth of about 15.8% followed by Colombia with 12.7% and Ukraine with 12.1% growth.
The fuel had played a very significant role in past (1981-2008) by helping China to reduce its poverty level. During the same period the country’s annual Coal consumption had increased by more than 400% from 626 MnT to 2.7 BnT. Similarly, India uses this fuel not only for generating electricity but also as a key component for producing Steel and Cement.
Even the new techniques are being derived for better usage, such as process of converting Coal to a liquid fuel or into a combustible gas. The liquid form can be used as a substitute of oil. It can not only be used in cars and vehicles but also in commercial jets.
According to recent researches, Coal industry can be better used as an energy source for developing countries and as energy security and affordability in developed countries. Its main concern however remains for environment protection and safety which still need to be taken care of. Coal as the most widely used energy resources proves helpful in developing country’s living standards. If the countries utilize their natural resources in a much better way, it could surely help them achieve the development strategies.