By 2040 carbon-free electricity will make up 60% of global installed power capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
A reduction in demand for coal will be brought about mostly by a slowdown in China, along with slowing use in North America and Europe.
Use of coal has been hard to measure in China, where government data can be inconsistent. At the beginning of this year new data showed a 4% drop in electricity generation from coal-fired power plants in China, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
“Electricity demand has decoupled from economic activity,” IEEFA director of energy finance studies for Australasia Tim Buckley wrote in a blog post. “China is diversifying away from coal faster than anyone expected.”
New data from the Chinese government suggests a more dramatic decline for coal. Overall coal production is down by 15.5 percent, IEEFA reports.