Data InsightsIndia now consumes more coal than Europe and North America combined
July 04, 2024Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Pablo Rosado

India now consumes more coal than Europe and North America combined

A line chart titled “Coal consumption” shows the coal consumption measured in terawatt-hours (TWh), from 1965 to 2023. The chart features three lines representing India, Europe, and North America. India’s coal consumption (pink line) shows a continuous rise, significantly increasing since 2000. Europe’s coal consumption (green line) peaks around 1985 and then steadily declines. North America’s coal consumption (orange line) peaks in the late 2000s before declining sharply. The data source is the Energy Institute - Statistical Review of World Energy (2024). The chart is from Our World in Data.

According to the most recent data from the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy, India now consumes more coal than the continents of Europe and North America combined.

The chart shows this was not the case until recently. Coal consumption in Europe and North America was high for a long time but has significantly decreased in recent decades. At the same time, India’s consumption has steadily increased.

India has industrialized and is growing rapidly. It has a huge demand for cheap energy, and the country’s abundant coal reserves are being used to meet it.

On a per-capita basis, coal consumption in India has only just passed levels in either region. That’s after centuries of higher consumption in North America and Europe.

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