Coal is one of the world’s most important sources of energy. A non-renewable fossil fuel, coal is made up of the altered remains of prehistoric vegetation that accumulated in swamps and peat bogs.
It is estimated that there are over 860 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide, enough to last more than 110 years at today’s current rate of production. Proven oil and gas reserves, on the other hand, are equivalent to around 46 and 54 years at current production levels. The largest coal reserves are located in the U.S., Russia, China, and India.
Since 2000, global coal consumption has grown at a faster rate than any other fuel. Coal plays a vital role in electricity generation worldwide and accounts for 41% of global electricity. Coal is also essential for steel production.