Coal Power Generation 2010-2022

Global coal-fired power generation increased over 20% from about 8,400 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2010 to a little bit above 10,400 TWh in 2022. Despite the increase in coal generation, the share of coal in the global power mix has fallen slightly from 38% in 2010 to 36% in 2022 as solar and wind generation is making up a larger proportion of the of new capacity. Since November 2016, when the Paris Agreement came into effect, there has been a deceleration in the annual growth rate of coal generation. Furthermore, global power generation started to decline from 2018 to 2020, dropping from 9900 TWh in 2018 to 9300 TWh in 2020, with the decrease in 2020 primarily attributed to issues related to COVID-19. However, in 2021, power generation resumed an upward trajectory, reaching a level of 10400 TWh in 2022.

In USA the energy produced by coal-fired plants experienced a substantial decline, dropping from 1,886 TWh to 665 TWh. This decrease in coal-generated power represents approximately 7% of the overall U.S. generation capacity. During this period, China and India exhibited notable positive trends. China saw a significant increase in power generation, rising 1.7 times from 2333 TWh in 2010 to 5398 TWh in 2022. Similarly, India experienced an even more substantial growth, with power generation increasing 2.15 times, escalating from 648 TWh to 1380 TWh over the same timeframe. In Y2022 China and India together represented 65% of the global coal power generation.

IEA. 2022. Global coal demand is set to rise in 2022 amid the upheaval of the energy crisis

IEA. 2024. Coal
Global Energy Monitor. April 2023
Celebi, M. Lam, L. Grove, J. Northrup, N. April 27, 2023. A Review of Coal-Fired Electricity Generation in the U.S
Enerdata. 2023. Coal and lignite production
Oreanda-news. May, 30, 2023. Global coal consumption in 2030 and 2050 will be higher than forecast
Eurostat. June, 22, 2023. Coal production and consumption up in 2022
Akhilesh Pillalamarri. January, 25, 2023. India is the World’s Most Populous Country: What it Means
Oyku Senlen, Hannah Blitzer, Leo Roberts, Chris Littlecott. April, 13, 2022. Third Generation Environmentalism Ltd (E3G). Approaching the milestone: The impending end of new coal power plant construction
S&P Global. 2023. COP28: Leaders pledge to triple renewable generation capacity by 2030
EIA. 2021. EIA projects renewables share of U.S. electricity generation mix will double by 2050
Rystad Energy. 29 November 2022. World’s largest electricity consumer: China’s power sector ripe for rapid decarbonization
The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 2023
Government of India. October, 2020. Growth of electricity sector in India from 1947-2020