Coal sector consumption
- In the short term, AEMO expects some reinvestments and mothballed mines returning to operation, driven by projected coal prices and exchange rates, but a declining trend in consumption by the coal sector (1.8% average annual decrease from 2016–17 to 2021–22), driven predominantly by mines reaching announced end of life.
- In the medium to longer term (2022–23 to 2036–37), coal sector electricity consumption is projected to stabilise at an average annual decline of 0.3%, as the coal price is expected to settle around its longer term average, limiting further investments.
- There is, however, a large uncertainty of projected global coal demand in the medium to longer term, which is reflected in the spread between the Strong and Weak scenario outlooks. The Strong scenario represents a future with higher commodity prices driving significant investment in new coal mines and mine expansions, in particular in Queensland. The Weak scenario, on the other hand, assumes less reinvestment in the coal mining sector.
- Coal mining sector consumption is concentrated in New South Wales and Queensland. AEMO has not modelled a coal sector forecast for other regions.