The latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy confirmed that coal remains the world’s dominant source of power, with a global share of energy generation of 38.1 per cent in 2017, about the same as 20 years ago.
Coal’s contribution was almost as much as natural gas (23.2 per cent) and hydroelectricity (15.9 per cent) combined. Renewables’ share of power generation was 8.4 per cent in 2017.
These results show that while the development of renewable energy generation capacity is important and growing, the world continues to need reliable and affordable energy from coal.
Here on our doorstep, many countries across South-East Asia are increasing their coal-fired power generation capacity, predominantly through construction and deployment of hundreds of new technology low-emissions coal-fired power plants.
This is good news for the Hunter coal sector and the local economy. These power plants need coal, and the coal that works best is the type of high quality coal produced in the Hunter.
As a result, demand for Hunter coal has increase significantly in recent years and continues at or near record levels.
We should be proud that our high quality Hunter coal is being exported for use in new coal-fired power stations, generating more electricity with lower emissions than inferior quality coal.
In developing economies like India, Vietnam and Bangladesh this new low emissions coal technology is lifting communities out of poverty by connecting them to cheap, reliable electricity for the first time.
This strong demand for Hunter coal is delivering some real benefits here too. The number of people working in coal mining jobs in the Hunter has increased by almost 800 in the past two years and we’ve seen increased flow-on business activity and economic growth.