Study: Around 50 percent of global coal-fired power plant projects likely to be canceled
Post date: 09/05/2023 - 13:27
For a study led by German climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change), the common assumptions about the worldwide construction of new coal-fired power plants, or more precisely: the data researched by the U.S. information service Global Energy Monitor, were examined. To do this, the team interviewed 29 »particularly knowledgeable experts« from the ten countries where 90 percent of these power plants are expected to be built: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
Worldwide, 476 gigawatts of coal-fired power plant capacity are considered to be under construction or in the planning stages – a quantity that, if operated by the end of its economic lifetime, would make it impossible to meet global climate targets. However, the survey finds that only about 215 gigawatts, or less than half, are still being seriously pursued.
The survey took place in the fall of 2021, shortly before the first round of the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP), in which countries in the global South negotiate with rich industrialized countries for help in phasing out coal-fired power generation. One result of the study, for example, is that in Vietnam and Indonesia, the »reduction« in investments in coal-fired power plants negotiated in the JETP framework »corresponds more or less to what had been expected among experts anyway.« The difference between official planning and actual expected implementation varies widely across countries, with the fewest project cancellations in China and the most in Bangladesh and Mongolia.
According to the study team, the results also show »how important it is to have international support to phase out coal and develop alternatives.« However, if the 215 GW of coal-fired capacity expected according to the study were actually built, their operating life would still have to be limited to 15 years: »If that succeeded, the 1.5-degree limit would still be well within reach.«