Near Perfect Correlation Between Coal Use and GDP Growth

Published: 11 Dec 2013

Near Perfect Correlation Between Coal Use and GDP Growth

Coal plays an essential role in meeting the world’s energy needs and fueling economic growth. Coal is the world’s fastest-growing fuel and is expected to surpass oil as the largest energy source in coming years. Since 1970, global coal use has increased approximately 350 percent, showing a near-perfect correlation between coal use and global growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

At the same time, the world has seen unprecedented growth in energy demand, driven by the emergence of new technologies in step with urbanization and modernization, particularly in rapidly growing economies such as China and India. 

The world’s energy needs will continue to grow: by 2050, the global population is estimated to exceed nine billion people, and global GDP could rise 250 percent. During this same time, electricity generation is expected to more than double, and as much as 14 billion tons of coal would be used annually.

21st Century coal provides a path to deliver abundant, affordable energy to drive economic progress and improve quality of life that enables society to achieve its energy, economic and environmental goals.

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