In its first Sustainability Development report dealing with climate change released on Monday, Glencore argues that despite the rapid growth in renewable sources, coal will continue to be a mainstay of the global energy mix.
The Swiss mining and commodities trading giant said demand for coal was expected to grow by roughly 7% through 2030 to just over 6 billion tonnes of coal equivalent (btce) from 5.6 btce in 2013.
The growth is primarily driven by emerging markets that continue to build low cost, coal-fired electricity generation plants. Cumulative demand over the period of the study amounts to between 19 – 21 billion tonnes and in order to meet future demand 500 million to 1 billion tonnes of export capacity would have to be developed.
While non-fossil fuel sources are expected to grow by 53% through 2030, total energy produced from renewables (5.47btce) would still be less than from coal.
The seaborne market for coal is also predicted to grow on the back of demand from the steel, cement and chemical industries reaching 1.48 billion tonnes per year from 1.23 billion tonnes currently.
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