Coal regions advised to look to renewables for jobs growth as IEA report highlights falling demand

Demand for Australian thermal coal has peaked, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), and renewables will deliver 80 per cent of the world's energy needs in the next few years.

NCIG Stacker Reclaimer as part of the billion dollar second stage of Newcastle's third coal loader
Coal exports will continue at high levels, but the latest World Energy Outlook forecasts a big transition to renewables in the next two decades.(Supplied)

In its annual report on the World Energy Outlook the IEA said demand for oil was likely to rebound but that was not the case for thermal coal.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has been saved by its mineral exports, especially iron ore and coal.

Exports are worth $70 billion and they have doubled in the past decade.

But the IEA's report said the global economic slump caused by the pandemic would cause a fall in demand for energy, with oil and coal the hardest hit.

Co-author of the report Tim Gould said while demand for energy was expected to rebound when the pandemic was brought under control, demand for coal was not expected to recover with it.

"Energy demand is set to fall by 5 per cent this year, the largest shock in 70 years," he said.

"Coal is under pressure today from phase-out policies, low natural gas prices and the rise of renewables, and the pandemic has worsened its outlook in many countries around the world."

The IEA is forecasting that coal's share in the 2040 energy mix will fall below 20 per cent for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, and demand from Asia will be lower than anticipated and not enough to offset falls elsewhere.

  • In its annual report, the IEA said demand for oil was likely to rebound but that was not the case for thermal coal
  • Renewables were forecast to deliver 80 per cent of the world's energy by 2030
  • Australian coal regions were advised to look to renewable energy for jobs

Read the full article published in ABC News 19th October 2020


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  • Hunter Renewal
    published this page in News 2020-10-20 08:26:17 +1100