Minerals Council of Australia CEO Brendan Pearson said the report confirmed Australia remained the world’s largest coal exporter, contributing more than $40 billion to the national economy.
“The WEO notes that Australian coal exports are forecast to increase from 350 million tonnes to 410Mt by 2040 with the Australian share of international trade growing from 32% to 36%,” he said.
Coal’s share in the global primary energy use remains at 29%, the second largest provider of energy in the world behind oil and it remains the mainstay of electricity generation providing 41% of global supply.
The strong economic development in South East Asia and India means global demand for coal will return to 2014 levels by 2020.
Demand for coal in Asia will grow at 0.8% per year, with Indian demand for coal growing at 3.6% per year and Southeast Asia at 4.4% per year.
Pearson said that to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions while retaining a reliable and secure supply of electricity supplied by coal, there had to be a far greater willingness to embrace technologies such as high efficiency, low emission coal-fired generators and carbon capture and storage.
The WEO highlights the massive increase in the use of HELE technology with 400 gigawatts of supercritical and 330GW of ultra-supercritical coal-fired plants being built.
“These plants require high quality coal to operate at their most efficient and with Australia having some of the highest quality coal in the world, our production is forecast to increase by 0.5% per year until 2040,” Pearson said.
“The report notes that world is on track to meet the Paris Targets, a result that is helped by 22 nations, which account for more than 50% of emissions, including HELE as part of their national emissions reductions plan.”