World Coal Output Fell by Record Amount in 2016, BP Says

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British coal consumption fell by 52.5% in 2016 and the trend away from the fuel has continued this year, with the first coal-free day since the 19th century.

Presenting the 66th edition of BP's annual statistical review of energy, the oil company's chief economist, Spencer Dale, said: "It feels to me like we're seeing a decisive break with coal, relative to the past".

In the United Kingdom, coal's share of the nation's energy mix has fallen to 6 per cent - down from 23 per cent in 2015 - thanks to the closure of a number of coal plants past year. In the United Kingdom, coal supply and demand plummeted to levels not seen since the start of the Industrial Revolution, almost 200 years ago.

Coal production dropped past year as China's domination of energy markets - long the driver of soaring fossil-fuel consumption and rising carbon pollution - is now turning the planet in a cleaner direction. US output declined 19% and Chinese production fell nearly 8%.

Renewables were again the fastest growing of all energy sources, rising by 12%.

The shift away from coal in most of the world's major economies comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to revive the fuel, having promised during his election campaign to restore lost jobs in mining areas such as West Virginia.

BP said coal production was declining along with demand for the commodity as the U.S., Europe and China all consume more natural gas and renewable energy sources.

The report also noted that 2016 saw China seize the USA crown as the world's largest single producer of renewable power, overtaking the USA, while Asia Pacific overtook Europe and Eurasia to become the largest producing region for renewable power.

The slowing growth in energy demand, the shift to cleaner fuels and higher energy efficiency meant that carbon emissions grew by 0.1 percent last year, similar to the previous two years, making it the lowest three-year average for emissions growth since 1981-83.

Slower demand growth helped stall the acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions for a third year to levels not seen since the 1980s, but emissions remained well above targets set out globally under the 2015 Paris accord on climate change.

"While welcome, it is not yet clear how much of this break from the past is structural and will persist", he said in a statement.

Thus, in the years 2005 - 2015 coal consumption had grown by an average annual rate of 1.9%.

This week, BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy on 2016 data.

The biggest energy consumer is moving toward the end of an era after it burned the least coal in six years, became the number one producer of renewable energy and even lowered its emissions of climate-warming gases, according to data from BP Plc.

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