Cornerstone, the official publication of the world coal industry, was launched by the World Coal Association in the spring of 2013. Cornerstone is an internationally recognized, high-quality, objective publication that includes content investigating all aspects of the global coal industry. The electronic version is offered free of charge through this website.
Click on the image below to read Volume 1 Issue 3
“For the foreseeable future, the role of coal as an important global energy source, especially in non-OECD countries, will remain unchanged.”
– Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo
President, Shenhua Group
Academician, Chinese Academy of Engineering
In 2012, global coal consumption increased by 2.5%, far less than the average growth rate of 4.4% over the past decade, although it remained the fossil energy source undergoing the most rapid growth in consumption. In addition, in 2012 coal accounted for 29.9% of global primary energy consumption, the highest percentage since 1970.1 For the foreseeable future, the role of coal as an important global energy source, especially in non-OECD countries, will remain unchanged.
Despite the immense challenges of delivering energy to the 1.3 billion people who lack it, the World Bank’s recent decision to limit financing for coal-fired power plants could risk limiting the use of one of the most affordable and effective tools for combating energy poverty. The bank’s decision to limit funding for coal to all but rare circumstances, with a switch to gas as a preferred energy source, will place new hurdles in the path to development for many of the world’s poorest countries.
European coal consumption had been in decline for several decades. However, coal has recently made a surprising comeback, regaining market share since 2010 mainly at the expense of natural gas. The opposite has happened in the U.S. where the relationship between coal and gas consumption was rather stable until about 2005, but the shale gas revolution has since led to a sharp decline in the consumption of coal relative to gas.
Direct coal liquefaction (DCL) is the most effective approach for the production of liquid products from coal; the energy conversion efficiency can be 60% or greater. DCL also offers important strategic and practical benefits to China in regards to solving problems such as shortages of petroleum resources, balancing the energy mix to rely more heavily on strategically secure coal reserves, as well as a sustained, steady growth of the national economy.