Surprisingly, China is not the world's biggest consumer of coal — South Africa is. 77 percent South Africa's energy consumption is coal-based. Though China uses the most coal — about 2 billion tons (1.8 trillion kilograms) each year — its energy consumption is 70 percent coal-based.
More Coal in Your Stocking Facts:
- The average coal-based energy consumption worldwide is about 30 percent.
- The United States energy consumption is about 25 percent coal-based, which is less than Germany or Japan.
- 60 percent of the world's coal is mined underground. Surface mining, however, accounts for 80 percent of the production in Australia and 67 percent of the US production.
- More than 5,845 million tonnes of coal are produced worldwide each year.