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China, characterized by the world.s largest population, is one of the most rapidly growing countries and the largest consumer of energy in the world. Over the last decade, China.s consumption of total global coal has increased by 15%. Besides being the largest producer of coal, China currently consumes over 40% of the yearly total coal output. Since China.s appetite for coal is growing, it is important to understand the sources of this growth. This study investigates China.s coal consumption patterns and production needs among the various sectors in its economy. It intends to identify and model the market forces affecting coal consumption and production in China before conducting forecasting. This is investigated in three papers. The first essay highlights the relationship between urban population, real GDP, electricity production and coal consumption. The second essay studies the relationship between exports, CO2 emissions, coal consumption and trade openness in China. The models employed to conduct these analyses include a vector autoregression framework and a modified version of the Granger (1969) causality test proposed by Toda and Yamamoto (J. Econ. 66 (1995) 225). In the third essay ARIMA-GARCH models are used to forecast coal production for China.s coal producing regions. Additionally, the volatility of coal production is modeled and estimated. Empirical results from these studies reveal that growth in urban population, real GDP, electricity production and exports as sectors which bear the greatest responsibility for coal consumption along with the amount they will consume in the future. Furthermore, the future paths that coal production is set to take are analyzed in each of the 27 coal producing regions.