More coal plants are being cancelled than built

More coal plants are being cancelled than built

The global coal boom has started to slow, a new report says, as more plans for new power plants are now being shelved than completed.

The number of cancelled coal projects across the world has outstripped those completed at a rate of two to one since 2010, according to Sierra Club and CoalSwarm – two campaign groups that have tracked the progress of 3,900 intended plants since 1 January 2010.

The findings update a 2012 report by the World Resources Institute, which estimated that 1,199 new coal-fired power plants, with a total capacity of 1,401 gigawatts, were in the pipeline for construction.

New figures suggest that, by 2014, this had shrunk by 23% to a proposed 1,083 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity.

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Comparison of 2012 WRI figures and 2014 Global Coal Plant Tracker. Source: Boom and Bust: Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline

The report puts this down to citizen opposition, competition from renewables, new policy initiatives and political scandals putting a freeze on the highly polluting projects.

Between 2010 and 2014, the groups calculated that 356 gigawatts of capacity was added to the world’s network of coal-fired power plants, while 493 gigawatts – or 624 individual power plants – were shelved.

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Worldwide coal-fired generation net capacity additions, 1980-1993. Source: Platts WEPP January 2015 and CoalSwarm analysis

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Top 20 locations of completed coal plants, 2010-2014 (megawatts). Source:  Global Coal Plant Tracker, January 2015

Source: The Carbon Brief

Date: March 2015

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