Okay. So the World Coal Association website freaks me out a bit.
It has been estimated that there are over 847 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide. This means that there is enough coal to last us around 118 years at current rates of production. In contrast, proven oil and gas reserves are equivalent to around 46 and 59 years at current production levels.
According to the World Coal Association we have 118 years of coal.................................at current production. This is the World Coal Association. If we don't increase production AT ALL, we have 118 years left.
But there are these countries called India and China, right? And they have 8 times the population of the United States. And their economies are growing like crazy. And the folks living in grass huts want electricity and the same standard of living as we have here in the US.
We'd need to increase coal supply by at least 400% just to meet that demand.
118 years cut into quarters is 30 years.
Plus the global population is going to rise to 9 billion by 2050....just 38 years from now. That's another growth rate of 28%.
SO rather than just a 400% increase in power demand we'll be seeing a 512% increase in coal demand.....
.....................blarg. That 118 years gets chopped down right quick to 23 years IF we increase production to meet demand.
The other option is to maintain production in the face of growing demand and watch the price skyrocket.