Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Coal Plants Rise in 2015 Despite Falling Consumption

Gigawatts of new coal capacity coming online, compared to gigawatts of retired coal. (Source Credit: CoalSwarm. Chart by Carbon Brief)  Click to Enlarge.
Old coal plants are increasingly lying dormant, yet new ones keep getting built, according to a new report.

The analysis by CoalSwarm, which includes researchers from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, looks at the state of global coal over the last year.

Their findings highlight a disconnect between the recent reductions in demand for coal, and the hundreds of gigawatts of new capacity that developers want to build in the future.
The fact that coal consumption has now declined for two consecutive years is a major factor in allowing carbon emissions to stall and perhaps fall in 2014 and 2015.  An increasing number of plants are being retired, while many intended projects are failing to go beyond the planning stage.

But the news that the construction of new coal capacity accelerated in 2015 is equally significant.

“The danger of continued expansion remains very real,” warns the report.  For example, it points out that construction in China continued to increase by as much a 55% year-on-year in 2015, despite a slowdown in total power use.

The emissions associated with planned coal plants would push global temperature rise well above the 2C limit.  If all the coal plants in the pipeline were to be built, then by 2030 emissions would be five times higher than the level associated with a 2C pathway, according to research by Climate Action Tracker.

Read more at New Coal Plants Rise in 2015 Despite Falling Consumption

No comments:

Post a Comment