World Bank Predicts A Drastic Decrease In Coal In Three Decades

The dependency of the world on oil and coal – which are considered to be the main sources for emission of green-house gases is slowly going down in the opinion of the World Bank.

“The model has been coal plus renewables, the model can be gas plus renewables. I think 10, 12 years from now, we will see renewables and storage and nothing more than that,” Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank’s global head of energy and extractives, said during a television interview.

He said that there can be a dramatic downslide in the use of coal in the coming decades. “I think that coal in the next 30 years — we will see that it will go very much out of the energy mix more and more.”

Economic stimulus provided by the Chinese government has been the primary cause for the rise in consumption of coal in the country by 0.7 per cent in 2017, said a report published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics earlier this year, notwithstanding Puliti’s prediction. This is the first time that coal consumption has increased in China since 2013. Additionally, more than 60 per cent of the total power generation in China in 2017 was done from coal and it was primary source for electricity generation.

Perhaps another more worrying trend, according to data released last month by the International Energy Agency, is that following two consecutive years of decline, the global coal consumption has increased in 2017.

The rhetoric that China has been harping about climate change has been very impressive nonetheless according to Puliti.

He said that efforts toward fighting pollution and promoting cleaner, greener technologies is being diligently done by some countries. He mentioned such countries in Europe where, over the last decade, there has been significant investments made by Germany in the field of wind energy.

And it was not long ago that that those diesel cars that are responsible for causing significant air pollution have been allowed to be banned by city authorities according to a court ruling in recent days in Germany.

But for a number of countries and economies, adopting renewable sources of energy and investing in them, is a costly affair despite promising signs being shown by some of the world’s major economies.

According to Puliti, with the increase in penetration of renewable energy, the costs associated with it come down very fast even though he agrees that in the beginning adoption of the renewable and alternative technologies is a costly affair. Every year, there has been a decrease of 8 to 10 per cent in the costs of solar, he noted.

“It’s a matter of how much — as a government — you want to push for new technology, cleaner technology,” he said.

(Adapted from


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