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It would be very hard to imagine life without electricity. Most of the appliances and machines that are used in homes, offices and factories are powered by electricity and this equipment helps to improve people's overall quality of life. For that reason, the wider provision of electricity supplies is a critical factor in reducing global poverty levels . To meet the needs of users around the world, the global consumption of coal has risen more quickly since 2000 than any other fuel. For countries that do not have their own supply of natural energy resources, coal has become an essential means of producing power. On a global scale, coal is currently used to fire power stations and produces 40% of global electricity. This figure is very likely to increase, and predictions are that by 2030 coal will fuel 44% of me world's electricity.