Despite efforts to reduce carbon emissions, coal was the main source of global electricity in 2017 with 38 percent, according to BP's annual report on world energy.
Total electricity production rose by 2.8 percent last year, reaching 25,551 terawatt-hours (TWh), of which 9,723 TWh was generated from coal.
The fossil fuel remained as the top source of energy, despite a loss of 3.1 percentage points compared to 2016, the data showed.
The share of coal in the power sector in 1998 was also 38 percent, the report said, noting a "slight edging down in recent years simply reversing the drift up in the early 2000s associated with China’s rapid expansion".
The second biggest source of electricity was natural gas with 23.2 percent. Hydroelectricity took the third spot accounting for 15.9 percent of total power production.
Renewables' share of power generation, on the other hand, stood at 8.4 percent last year, according to the report. Nuclear's share declined by 3.4 percentage points over the same period.
"The backward step in last year's data is most stark in carbon emissions from energy consumption, which are estimated to have increased by 1.6 percent in 2017," the report said.
-China generated quarter of total world power
In 2017, China ranked first in electricity generation from coal with 4,360 TWh. U.S. and India followed with a production of 1,314 TWh and 1,141 TWh, respectively.
Notably, oil-rich countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, did not produce electricity from coal last year.
China was also the biggest electricity producer overall, having produced 6,495 TWh of power, which is 25 percent of the total power generated last year.
The largest amount of electricity in the world was produced in the Asia- Pacific region with 44.9 percent, while Africa's share was only 3.3 percent.
By Huseyin Erdogan