Major Coal Reserves and Estimated Lifetimes
1/27/2012
Data US DOE, EIA online as of 1/27/12 and World Almanac 2010.
http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/290-width/images/print-edition/20120121_BBC399.gif
2008 2010 Coal
Coal Used used
Millions Millions tons per
Short Short Lifetime Pop person
Rank Country tons tons years Millions per year
1 USA 269,343 1,048 257 307.21 3.41
2 Russia 173,074 257 674 140.04 1.83
3 China 126,215 3,695 34 1,338.61 2.76
4 Australia 84,217 145 580 21.26 6.83
5 India 66,800 722 93 1,166.08 0.62
Subtotals 719,649 72  %
Others 277,857 28  %
World 997,506 100  %
Notes:
1. Use graph from The Economist 1/21/12, p78.
2. World reserves are from: Fossil Fuel Reserves.htm
3. Coal is our largest fossil fuel reserve and most will be burned even if carbon dioxide must be captured.
4. A carbon tax would be the simplest way to reduce use of fossil fuels, but cap-and-trade can work.
5. We should expect most countries to try to reach a GDP of at least $20,000/person/year.
6. Also see: Daniel Yergin, 2011, The Quest, pp 220-222. Some of the best coal fired plants are being built in China.