Title: Evolution of future world coal consumption: insights from a distribution dynamics approach

Authors: Xunpeng Shi; Tsun Se Cheong; Victor Jing Li

Addresses: Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Center of Hubei Cooperative Innovation for Emissions Trading System, Hubei University of Economics, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430205, China; Australian Energy Transition Institute, Barraba Place, Bella Vista, NSW 2153, Australia ' School of Business, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong ' Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Abstract: Global efforts in limiting coal consumption will be undermined if new major coal users emerge; however, very few studies have been conducted on the emergence of prospective coal users. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate how likely some developing countries will emerge to be significant coal users. The distribution dynamics approach is adopted to examine the evolution and transitional dynamics of coal consumption. Ergodic distributions and mobility probability plots are constructed for each grouping so as to provide detailed information on the current pattern and future development. Our study finds that some low income and lower middle income economies may increase their coal consumption in the future if coal remains to be a cheap energy source, while the countries in other income groups have entirely different behaviours. The findings suggest that global policy coordination focusing on the prospective coal users should be adopted. [Received: May 25, 2019; Accepted: May 27, 2020]

Keywords: growth potential; distribution dynamics; mobility probability plots; MPPs; coal consumption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOGCT.2021.115546

International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2021 Vol.27 No.2, pp.186 - 207

Received: 25 May 2019
Accepted: 27 May 2020

Published online: 01 Jun 2021 *

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