The Global Coal Plant Tracker keeps on eye on every known coal-fired power plant in the world, providing information on every last one of them. The Sierra Club and CoalSwarm (who jointly run the database) released a report last March entitled “Boom & Bust: TRACKING THE GLOBAL COAL PLANT PIPELINE” which presented evidence that the current boom in construction of coal-fired power plants around the world is losing steam.
For every coal plant constructed, two proposed coal plants have been shelved or cancelled
According to the report, for every coal plant constructed worldwide, two proposed coal plants have been shelved or cancelled since 2010. In 2014, for the first time in history, global carbon emissions flattened while the global world economy expanded thanks to the decline in our dependency on coal and the growing use of renewables which emit little to no greenhouse gas emissions. Due to a strong grassroots movement in communities across the United States, 187 domestic coal plants have announced their retirement since 2010 thus causing coal use to rapidly decline. Furthermore, even though China’s economy grew by 7.3 percent in 2014, coal use dropped for the first time ever. This trend has been reflected in many countries in Europe, South America, and Africa. It’s particularly evident in India where for every one project that was completed, six were shelved or cancelled since 2012. The rate of retirement for old coal plants beat out the construction of new facilities by 22% in the EU. The UK has stood out in leading European countries away from coal with three major political UK parties making an agreement to move towards a low carbon economy while aborting coal-fired power plants.
Capacity of proposed coal-fired power generating in 2014 by region (megawatts)
|United States and Canada||23,653||14,677||2:1|
Source: Global Coal Plant Tracker, January 2015
Although there is a general trend away from coal, there is still over 1,000GW of new coal power proposed worldwide. This new fleet is enough to ravage our climate and public health. All countries must make a commitment to break away from coal plants as well as coal subsidies and policies, and turn to clean energy in anticipation of the COP21 negotiations to be held in Paris this December. The report concluded that our continued effort is necessary in order to prevent catastrophic climate change and to protect the health of future generations.
Unfortunately, Japan continues to put forth new plans for coal facilities while the rest of the world is halting or cancelling coal projects. It can’t be said enough that Japan’s love of coal is in sharp contrast with a world that is very quickly parting ways with coal.
The news referred:
Endo Coal: Global Wave of New Coal Plants is Going Bust, New Report Finds (2015/3/16)
The Carbon Brief: Blog (16 Mar 2015) More coal plants are being cancelled than built