The role of coal in Asia

Authored by: Subhes C. Bhattacharyya

Routledge Handbook of Energy in Asia

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138999824
eBook ISBN: 9781315656977
Adobe ISBN:


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Coal is the dominant fuel in the primary energy supply of Asia. East Asia accounted for more than 80% of the regional coal demand and China remains the most important coal user in the world. South Asia (mainly India) is the other major coal user but Indonesia is the major exporter of coal from the region. Coal is mainly used in the power sector, but industry also remains a major user of coal. The coal industry in three major countries, China, India and Indonesia, has evolved quite differently. India and China produced almost the same amounts of coal in 1950, but since the early 1980s the coal industry in China has grown much faster than India. Indonesia, on the other hand, has emerged as a major exporter only over the last decade after recording a major growth of its coal output from Kalimantan island. Coal will remain the most dominant fuel in Asia in the future, but its share is likely to reduce marginally. The air pollution challenges of coal use and the problem of climate change will require adoption of clean coal technologies and more efficient use of coal in the power plants and industry.

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