Please wait while the search results are loading...

U.S. Coal Industry Suffers, while Coal Use Grows Dramatically in India and China, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

America’s coal industry has been suffering a serious downturn.  Federal regulations have encouraged electric utilities, major users of coal, to either install extremely expensive environmental controls on coal plants or switch to cleaner-burning natural gas for fuel.  Many mines have ceased production, and layoffs have been significant.
A bright spot in the U.S. coal industry may be coal from the Illinois Basin.  This particular coal burns hotter than many other types, making it more emission-efficient, and it is well suited to today’s scrubber-equipped coal-fired plants.
A major change in energy consumption occurred in 2019 in the U.S., when coal consumption fell 15% from 2018 and renewable energy consumption rose 1%.  For the first time, Americans consumed more energy from renewable sources than from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Meanwhile, both China and India have been constructing large numbers of coal-fired electric utility plants in an effort to spur economic activity and service expanding demand for electric power.  For the mid-term, China will continue to rely very heavily on coal for generation.  Unfortunately, its coal-fired plants are very heavy polluters, adding to China’s already great dilemma with industrial emissions. China’s burning of coal is one of the world’s largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions.  Adoption of clean coal technologies, such as scrubbers (although very expensive), would be an immense help.  China holds massive coal reserves.  Over the very long term, the country hopes to lessen its dependence on coal, largely through the construction of nuclear plants and an expansion of solar facilities.
As of 2022, the latest year available, the EIA’s analysts found that mainland China accounted for nearly 55% of the world’s coal consumption.  China burnt coal equal to 14,451.12 million barrels of oil equivalent that year, up from 14,308.92 million in 2021.  In India, BP found that coal consumption reached 3,285.46 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2022, up from 3,283.83 million barrels in 2021.
In contrast, North American consumption fell to 1,618.21 million barrels in 2022, compared to 1,727.73 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2021, and total European consumption rose 5.9% in 2021 to 1,636,19.7 million barrels. 
For now, India will continue to rely very heavily on coal-burning electric generating plants.  India’s use of coal will accelerate along with its economic growth.  For the very long-term, the nation has a vision of significant development of nuclear, as well as solar and other renewable sources.

A Representative List of Organizations that Have Used our Research and Products:


I’m amazed at how much information is available and the various ways to access it. This will be a major resource for our serious job seekers.

Career Services, Penn State University

Plunkett Research Online provides a great ‘one stop shop’ for us to quickly come up to speed on major industries. It provides us with an overall analysis of the market, key statistics, and overviews of the major players in the industry in an online service that is fast, easy to navigate, and reliable.

Wendy Stotts, Manager, Carlson Companies

I really appreciate the depth you were able to get to so quickly (for our project). The team has looked through the material and are very happy with the data you pulled together.

Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Manager

We are especially trying to push Plunkett since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Library Services, St. John’s College

We are especially trying to push Plunkett’s since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Gary White, Business Materials Selector, Penn State University

Your tool is very comprehensive and immensely useful. The vertical marketing tool is very helpful, for it assists us in that venue, as well as targeting customers’ competition for new sales…The comprehensive material is absolutely fabulous. I am very impressed, I have to say!

Tammy Dalton, National Account Manager, MCI

The more I get into the database, the happier I am that we’ll have it–REALLY happy!!! Between the quality and affordability of your product, its appeal to and value for our users, and the inestimably ethical and loyalty-guaranteeing conduct of your business, I will always have more than sufficient praises to sing for Plunkett Research.

Michael Oppenheim, Collections & Reference Services, UCLA

Plunkett Research Online is an excellent resource…the database contains a wealth of useful data on sectors and companies, which is easy to search and well presented. Help and advice on how to conduct, export and save searches is available at all stages.

Penny Crossland, Editor, VIP Magazine
Real Time Web Analytics