Meanwhile, coal power plants are being built at a quick rate in China and India, the IEA said. The Chinese ones are for the most part built with the latest technology to capture polluting particles, while the picture in India is more mixed, said Laszlo Varro, head of IEA's Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division.
Current climate regulations have had no effect on coal production or coal use, van der Hoeven said.
"It will take a lot of time and a lot of regulations to really see coal consumption turn around," she said. "A higher carbon price would play a role to change the competitive picture."
"The U.S. experience shows that a more efficient gas market, with flexible pricing and fueled by indigenous unconventional resources that are produced sustainably, can reduce coal use, CO2 emissions and consumers' electricity bills without harming energy security," she added.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500