World Coal Consumption Trends – American Sources

Reader CoRev asserts IEA forecasts are biased. Here are forecasts from US DoE Energy Information Administration.

Figure 1: World coal consumption, 1980-2021, mn short tons (blue), and forecasts 2022 and 2025. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: EIA, EIA (Oct 2023), NBER.

Note 2022 is lower than 2021 in the EIA forecast, contrasting with the July 2023 IEA projection.  While IEA projections (displayed in this post) do exhibit bias, Liao et al. (2016) show that up to that date, most of the bias was due to upwardly biased GDP forecasts, which are a key input into the projections.

IEA projects 8.38 bn short tons in 2024, while DoE EIA reference scenario projects 8.34 bn short tons in 2025. Log linear interpolation indicates 8.38 bn short tons in 2024. No big divergence at the moment, as the two forecasts are similar.


39 thoughts on “World Coal Consumption Trends – American Sources

  1. pgl

    It was CoRev who used IEA data which this lying troll now says is biased because little CoRev was caught with his panties around his ankles misrepresenting what IEA said.

    Look – CoRev has never been interested in an adult honest conversation about any topic. Yea he is a lying troll albeit not a very bright one.

    1. mike mckeever

      I’m pretty sure your readers want to learn whether wealth concentrations in the United States can change their lives. It happens that Billionaires’ accumulations of wealth have a large impact on all of us.

      My recent paper ‘The Captured State: Selected Statistics Show Harms of Wealth Concentration to American Life’ addresses that question. I am willing and able to answer your questions on request.

      see paper here:

      Mike P. McKeever
      Prof. Economics, Ret, City College of San Francisco
      Cell: 415 816 2982

  2. pgl

    Notice something about the historical data. World coal consumption peaked in 2014 and then fell significantly. Yea it rose a bit in 2018 never reaching 2014 levels but then it fell over the next two years. Yea it rose a bit in 2021 but has been falling since.

    CoRev’s desperate attempts to justify his claim that coal consumption has been rising just shows what a worthless stupid little liar he is.

  3. CoRev

    Citing Liao 2016 shows that that the IEA projections were know to be biased since then. Your use of biased data to refute what I asserted is an interesting case study in “Confirmation bias

    Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values. People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring contrary information, or when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing attitudes. Wikipedia”

    It clearly acts as a filter when reading general comments such as coal consumption has gone up. Pgl is the poster child for this effect, as well as this article .

    I’m still waiting for an apology for that misrepresentation of my comment.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: I’ve repeatedly asked for an apology for your allegation that I manipulated BLS data by citing the source as FRED. Since no apology has been made, despite the fact you were informed you had one last chance to do so, you are banned effective immediately.

        1. pgl

          Next up for banning: JohnH and the ever worthless Econned. Maybe these three stooges can start reading the worthless blog ran by Princeton Steve.

      1. NotEconned(NotAnAliasUsedInFearOfTheGreatLeader)

        Menzie Chinn,
        I see the authoritarianism comes out when the ego calls for it. Very PRC – People’s Republic of Chinn? The demagoguery is very Trump-like. There’s nothing lower-class and weaker than calling out people via multiple blog posts and then ‘banning’ them if they don’t do as you tell them to do. Do as the dictator says or else!!!

        1. baffling

          and econned continues to display the professional jealousy! so sophomoric and pathetic. he failed as an academic, and simply tries to drag others down with his sinking ship. what a loser econned is.

        2. SomeoneOtherThanEconned(IfYouSayTheDearLeadersNameMoreThanTenTimesYouWillBeRewarded)

          Menzie Chinn,
          MAGA (Menzie’s Adolescent Game of Authoritarianism) can be summarized thusly:
          “Menzie Chinn creates ego-driven blog posts singling out and attacking commentator(s) that Menzie Chinn doesn’t like. Menzie Chinn then demands an apology from those he doesn’t like for their behavior that makes Menzie Chinn upset or makes Menzie Chinn look bad. An apology for the very behavior that Menzie Chinn fosters and supports up until the point Menzie Chinn feels that Menzie Chinn’s ego is beyond repair. Then, if you don’t apologize to Menzie Chinn, and within the timeframe deemed appropriate by Menzie Chinn, Menzie Chinn will ban you from commenting on Menzie Chinn’s blogposts about you – the very person Menzie Chinn nearly simultaneously penned a post about and is banning.”

          1. baffling

            econned continues to whine for attention. econned, if you don’t like this blog, you are welcome to start you own which nobody will visit and comment on. instead, you simply try to spread your miserable existence to others. econned is the failed academic whose professional jealousy surfaces on this site quite frequently, unfortunately.

          2. pgl

            Look – we get it that you are sad that even the rightwing blogs have banned your worthless garbage. I might suggest you grow up but no – you are incapable of doing so.

        3. Macroduck

          Poor Econned seems to have a problem with authority figures.

          Menzie is one of the two proprietors of this blog. The proprietors have set standards – lenient standards – for comments on this blog. They have the authority to do that. Blogs have been around for quite some time, and it is well established that moderation of comments improves the quality of comments. If I were the one setting standards, I’d require factuality; then where would you be?

          If comment moderation under a lenient set of standards draws an accusation of authoritarianism from you, the problem is clearly with you. Loser.

    2. pgl

      “Citing Liao 2016 shows that that the IEA projections were know to be biased since then.”

      Three possibilities: (1) little CoRev did not read this 2016 (I did and it does not give you credence to write such a BS statement; (2) little CoRev does not have a clue what bias means; and/or (3) CoRev is continuing with his pathetic dishonesty.

      Dude – you are a sick joke and everyone here knows that.

    3. pgl

      “Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.:

      To capture CoRev this needs editing to

      ‘Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall DISinformation in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.’

      So many lies, so little time. And now this POS wants us to apologize to him. OK CoRev – we are so sorry you were born with an IQ in the single digits.

  4. Ivan

    You don’t seem to understand what “biased” means for these right wing clowns. If it doesn’t conclude what they want it to conclude then its “fake news” and the people producing it have a bias. How do they know that? – well if it doesn’t conclude what they know to be try then it obviously is biased. Circular right up their own dumb asses.

    A scholar and a scientist like yourself seek new insights, then try to communicate those insights to others. A scholar and a scientist may pursue a specific idea but will abandon it (or be “wishy-washy) when evidence challenge that narrative. These clowns seek “support” for their agendas and narratives (often pretending to be scholars and scientist). They have their beliefs from authority – and the right wing ideology abhors people who question authority. Sometimes that authority is themselves, or God, or a “selected” human leader – but the monkey genes dictate that you must believe and obey authority. Communicating with them as an intellectual exchange is a waste of time – but there can be some entertainment in having them tie themselves into a pretzel.

  5. pgl

    Let’s be clear who first used this source:

    November 25, 2023 at 7:44 am
    I love the parochialism: ” US coal consumption (light blue)…” from Figure 1. While on a short term the BIG COAL USERS have increased their consumption.

    Yea little lying CoRev. Of course he picked 2000 as his start date and not 2018 or 2014. And now this lying troll says this source is biased? Come on man – CoRev lies more than Donald Trump.

  6. baffling

    not sure what the bias argument is. the data clearly shows both a short term and longer term downtrend in coal consumption. i can understand wanting to argue bias against a projection-although you would be wrong there as well. but these are not projection numbers. covid, are you arguing that the past consumption numbers are not accurate, and are biased? if so, in what way? you seem to be arguing that the peak of consumption is today, not 2013. please provide your evidence. the facts do not seem to support your opinion.

    1. pgl

      You see – you read the paper. Little CoRev did not. Even if this troll did – he does have the mental capacity to understand it.

  7. Ivan

    The inflation reduction act is doing its magic on solar panel production:

    “The 800 workers who built panels in Dalton before Mr. Biden’s legislation have been bolstered by further thousand since the law’s passage. A $2.3 billion plant in Cartersville, triple the size of Dalton’s and going up on 175 acres of Georgia red clay, will begin to come on line in January, making not only the finished panels but also components of the panels — glass ingots, polysilicon wafers and solar cells — now made almost entirely in East Asia”

    “Qcells will be producing 45,000 solar panels a day in Georgia”. That “wouldn’t have happened without the I.R.A.,” said Marta Stoepker, a Qcells spokeswoman

    “At one time, solar energy analysts thought the industry could compete with natural gas if a watt of electricity could be generated for $1. The global price has plunged to 14 cents a watt, down 37 percent since January. U.S. prices are at 30 cents, thanks to trade barriers, but that is still remarkably low”

    “By 2030, the trade association says, Mr. Biden’s legislation will have expanded the solar manufacturing work force to 115,000 Americans, and to more than 507,000 if transportation, installation and other industries are included. Solar energy production and storage should represent 30 percent of total domestic electricity generation by 2030”

    “Renewable sources of energy like wind and solar now make up 80 percent of new electricity generation capacity. Greenhouse gas emissions are falling, even as the American economy and population grow”

    YEP – its working. President Biden, thank you for being such an experienced and competent leader

    1. pgl

      “Renewable sources of energy like wind and solar now make up 80 percent of new electricity generation capacity. Greenhouse gas emissions are falling, even as the American economy and population grow”

      I was wondering why lying little CoRev switch his disinformation campaign to EV sales and coal consumption. Now we know.

      1. Ivan

        Yes the investors who are either going to make or lose money investing in a new power plant project have figured it out. Renewable projects will make them money, whereas hydrocarbon based plants eventually will end up as stranded assets. Noting quite as effective in getting people to focus on facts as when they are asked to put their money where their mouth is.

        1. pgl

          I guess CoRev never got the fact that a lot of pharma R&D projects fail but then the ones that succeed make the big bucks. Which is why little CoRev shied away from investing in companies like Amgen.

      2. Ivan

        I would also note that the 37% fall in solar prices over less than a year is a game changer. Not just for how we generate electricity but for the cost of energy.

    1. pgl

      Bush41 and Clinton-Gore both got it on climate change issues. Bush43 let Dick Cheney run these policies which explains the explosion from 2001 onwards.

    1. Ivan

      The temporary panic in the lithium market has subsided. It turns out that the energy storage needs of solar power will not be using lithium batteries. Both grid size and house sized battery based energy storage are more likely to use new sodium ion battery technology. They are cheeper, less temperature sensitive and more durable. The main drawback is their bulk and weight, so they are great for stationary batteries but not likely to be used in cars.

      However, needs for lithium are likely to grow with the expansion of EV use (where efficiencies are growing, but alternatives to lithium not quite ready). But the EV expansion is a bit slower than predicted and new sources of lithium have been found at somewhat higher rates than predicted – including recycling of old batteries. So reality sets in, panic recedes and we are back to lithium prices that are more realistic.

      1. Macroduck


        Have you seen anything about the use of extensive underground pipe storage for water used for heat pumps? The idea is first the conventional one that a steady 55 degree f water temperature can serve both heating and cooling needs, but additionally that some users will need heat while others need cooling, so that efficiency can be increased. The latter point justifies the cost of the extenive system.

        We’re making progress.

        1. Ivan

          The heat pump systems that are dug deep into the ground to get at that 55 degree year round temperature are certainly more efficient than the air systems exactly because they are working against a smaller heat differential. However, its my impression that the cost of getting an extensive pipe-system that deep into the ground is almost always much more expensive than simply doing a bigger above ground air system (even when you take efficiencies into the calculation). Even if your wife agree to dig up the whole garden to get pipes down there, it is also a concern if you have a big enough lawn to have space for a system that provides enough heat/AC all year (a lot of zero lot developments would not have the space).

          For new houses in most of the US it is almost a crime to install an AC unit and a natural gas heating system instead of a single heat pump system. The cost are almost the same and the cost of running the heat pump is lower.

          A big communal system is not something I have seen anywhere. I am not sure the benefits would be worth the extensive administrative and ownership hassles.

          1. Ulenspiegel

            “The heat pump systems that are dug deep into the ground to get at that 55 degree year round temperature are certainly more efficient than the air systems exactly because they are working against a smaller heat differential. However, its my impression that the cost of getting an extensive pipe-system that deep into the ground is almost always much more expensive than simply doing a bigger above ground air system”

            That depends, if you compare costs in case of new construction, then a ground based system with a “trench collector” (Grabenkollektor in Germany or Austria) is often the solution with the lowest costs, it also allows passive cooling if the house is equipped with a ventilation system.

            However, if you talk about refitting the heating system in existing buildings then of course an air source heat pump is usually the most economic solution.

          2. Ivan

            Thanks for the comment Ulenspiegel.

            It would certainly make sense for new developments and houses to go with the the “trench collector” – and the use of heat pumps for both cooling and heating is definitely the most cost effective thing to do (if possible). In US almost all houses have ventilation systems.

  8. Macroduck

    Off topic, but related. The fight over the hydrogen fuel color wheel –

    There is a new U.S. tax credit for hydogen fuel production, the result of legislation:

    As with all tax legislation, there is implementing regulation, and that regulation makes a dfference. So naturally, there is an effort from interested parties to influence that regulation.

    Here’s one example of the effort to shape hydrogen tax credit implementation:

    Putting aside the clunky writing and heard-it-all-before political language, the argument being made is that “blue” hydrogen fuel technology ought to receive the tax credit. “Blue” hydrogen uses natural gas and coal as feedstock. It requires energy input both for the production of hydrogen and for the capture of CO2, so is more energy-intense than hydrogen production powered by “green” solar or wind-generated electricity.

    How well does “blue” carbon capture work?

    “To date, CCS (carbon capture and storage) systems used in the production of hydrogen have been relatively unsuccessful in the amounts of emissions that they capture. In recent news, one of the few facilities to use carbon capture and storage technology to reduce the emissions of hydrogen production is reported to have released a further 7.5 million tonnes into the atmosphere since 2015, equivalent to the carbon footprint of 1.2 million petrol cars.”

    One example given in this article is a Shell hydrogen fuel project which employs carbon capture, securing just 48% of carbon dioxide released in the production process. Keep in mind, carbon dioxde and methane are released at other points in the supply chain, so that 48% over-represents greenhouse gas capture. If net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050 is the goal, “blue” hydrogen won’t get us there.

    The argument for a number of technologies is that they are transitional on the way to net-zero greenhouss gas release by 2050, but high-emission transition leaves us worse off than low-emission transition.

    This dust-up is separate from the Biden Administration’s “hydrogen hubs” initiative, but obviously related. Here are the broad strokes of that initiative:

    1. Ivan

      It is probably a lot better to get the hydrogen we need by simply drilling for it.

      By the time we begin to use substantial amounts of hydrogen we will likely pump up a lot of it directly from the ground – like we now pump natural gas. Blue hydrogen to me looks like a desperate, expensive and dirty attempt to find a use for coal and natural gas.

      1. Ivan

        The smart move for the drilling oil and NG industry would be to begin drilling for Hydrogen. All of their expertise and equipment could be shifted to green drilling. Probably a lot of the NG power plants could also shift and become green energy plants using Hydrogen instead of NG.

        If it is true that “Potentially, “it’s 150 trillion metric tons,” Wicks said. “One billion tons would power the United States for a full year” – then the world has enough hydrogen to power the US for 150,000 years. The only question is the price points for hydrogen vs NG – but that is a problem smart taxes/subsidies are meant to solve.

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