Coal Brings People Out of Energy Poverty

For years we have explained the benefits of affordable energy including coal. Coal provides affordable, reliable energy in a world where 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity and 2.4 billion people do not have clean cooking facilities. This means that coal is critical to helping billions of people have access to the energy that will make their lives better.

Some people think coal is a fuel of the past, but it turns out that since the early 1970s, coal use has outpaced all other sources of energy. And it will continue to do so through at least 2040, as Robert Bryce reports:

“Since 1973, coal consumption has grown faster than any other form of energy. Growth in coal consumption has been critical in providing electricity access in developing countries.

“Based on the results of three different estimates, this paper finds that between 1990 and 2010, about 830 million people—the vast majority in developing countries—gained access to electricity due to coal-fired generation…

“…Coal-fired-generation capacity continues to grow in wealthy countries, too. For electricity production, no other energy source can currently match the black fuel when it comes to cost, scale, and reliability. In all, more than 500 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity will likely be built worldwide by 2040…”

Billions of people need clean, affordable, and reliable electricity and coal fits the bill. Too bad that people like President Obama and anti-coal activists are working to make it harder for the world’s poor to have access to clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.

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