Sep 14, 2021 - Energy & Environment
New coal-fired power projects dwindle worldwide
The number of new coal-fired power projects on the drawing boards globally has shrunk significantly amid a wave of cancellations in recent years, per the climate think tank E3G.
Driving the news: Planned projects have fallen by 76% since late 2015 when the Paris Agreement was struck as governments have endorsed new restrictions, the firm's new report states.
Why it matters: There's no pathway to meeting the Paris targets of limiting warming to 1.5°C — or at least below 2°C — without aggressive moves away from coal.
- However, the IEA, in a July report, estimated that total global coal-fired generation is rebounding this year and may hit a record in 2022.
Yes, but: The E3G report says the shrinking project pipeline is "bringing the end of new coal power construction into sight."
- But coal's hardly on a path consistent with steep emissions cuts needed to avoid letting the Paris goals slip completely out of reach.
- A number of countries are still planning new projects that risk "locking in high emissions for several decades," E3G said.
By the numbers: China's pipeline has shrunk a lot, but it's still building a significant amount.
- It accounts for 53% of the world's coal-fired capacity under construction and 55% of the pre-construction pipeline.
- Add India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, and Bangladesh, and those nations along with China account for over 80% of the remaining pipeline.
- Plans for new plants in the OECD and E.U. have "collapsed" since 2015 and existing coal generation is declining, with "with 56% of operating capacity either closed already since 2010 or scheduled to close by 2030."