South Korea was the only country that saw an increase in coal consumption among major members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
According to the Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 by London-based energy company BP, South Korea's coal consumption came to 88-point-two million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) last year, up two-point-four percent from a year earlier.
That is the fifth largest in the world after China, India, the United States and Japan. But industrial experts say South Korea effectively ranks top in terms of per capita consumption given the four countries have much larger populations than South Korea.
The country's per capita coal consumption reached one-point-73 TOE, larger than one-point-35 of China, the world's largest coal consumer.
In addition, South Korea was the only country that witnessed a rise in coal consumption among major OECD nations, such as the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain.
The continued rise is mainly attributed to the increasing consumption of soft coal for power plants.