Guest post: How world’s coal-power pipeline has shrunk by three-quarters

The remaining pre-construction pipeline is spread out across a more 37 nations, 16 of which have simply one job. Just six nations account for more than four-fifths of proposed coal plants, namely China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh.

Collapsing pipeline.

Indonesia, house to 4% of the global coal pipeline in 2015, has just recently revealed its intention to stop constructing brand-new coal-fired power plants after 2023, although concerns remain that it might permit a number of permitted and pre-permit units to go on.

The remaining pre-construction pipeline of 53GW (18% of the worldwide overall) is thinly spread throughout a more 31 countries, shown in the chart below. Almost half of these countries have less than 1GW under factor to consider, with 16 of them considering just a single task.

Fears of the impact of a potential European carbon border change mechanism (CBAM) and climate-exacerbated wildfires are increasing pressure to cancel the nations remaining pipeline and check out alternatives.

Our analysis breaks the worldwide coal landscape into 3 constituent regions, each manifesting various kinds of the current worldwide structural shift far from coal.

The majority of these 6 are minimizing however not ending their strategies, our analysis programs. If any were to dedicate to no brand-new coal, it would significantly minimize the global pipeline of brand-new jobs..

No new coal.

Because the global circulation of proposed power plants is extremely focused, firm dedications to “no new coal” by just these six countries would eliminate 82% of the worlds remaining pipeline, ought to such promises be forthcoming.

Six coal nations.

A critical initial step is making sure no new coal-fired power stations are built. UN secretary basic António Guterres is calling for an end to their construction after this year and COP26 president designate Alok Sharma desires the summit in Glasgow to “consign coal power to history”..

The staying pipeline of pre-construction coal power projects still under advancement total up to 297GW of capability spread across an overall of 37 countries. Yet in truth, this pipeline is highly focused in just 6 countries.

In 2015 there were 26 non-OECD nations with coal plants under building and construction, amounting to an overall capability of 123GW (red line, left panel). By 2021, this had actually been up to simply 14 countries building a total of 72GW of brand-new coal capacity.

Left: The international pipeline of coal capacity under building (red wedges) or in earlier stages of development (permitted, orange; pre-permit, yellow; and revealed, blue) as of July 2015 (left-hand pie chart) compared with July 2021 (right-hand), in gigawatts. The world has actually avoided a 56% growth of the total global coal fleet (as of June 2021), which would have been equivalent to including a second China (1,047 GW) to global coal capacity.

Left: The international pipeline of coal capability under building and construction (red wedges) or in earlier stages of development (allowed, orange; pre-permit, yellow; and revealed, blue) since July 2015 (left-hand pie chart) compared with July 2021 (right-hand), in gigawatts. Right: The worldwide cumulative overall of coal capability built (blue) or cancelled (grey) given that 2015, gigawatts. Source: E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember (2021 ).

The second is China, which accounts for both half the worlds operating fleet and half the worlds task pipeline. The rest of the world is seeing its pipeline quickly agreement as nations pivot away from coal, but still accounts for 39% of the international pipeline.

An additional 40 nations have the opportunity to formalise the realities on the ground by making their own “no new coal” commitments. Some 33 have actually cancelled their staying task pipelines, while 7 have no prepare for brand-new coal. This group consists of 32 non-OECD nations that have actually pivoted away from coal, revealing the international expansion of this trend.

An additional 40 countries have the opportunity to formalise the realities on the ground by making their own “no brand-new coal” commitments. Some 33 have cancelled their staying task pipelines, while 7 have no plans for new coal. Taking the others in turn, India is presently constructing 34GW of new coal capability, more than the next 7 nations integrated, while its pre-construction pipeline of 21GW is the 2nd biggest in the world.

Just 5 of these nations are bucking the group pattern and still considering building brand-new coal, namely Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Poland and Turkey..

The 17GW of jobs that are at the declared phase– the outermost stage from plants entering into operation, coloured blue in the chart — are progressively not likely to come to fruition now that new coal finance is so hard to secure..

The circumstance in China and Turkey is explained briefly above. Taking the others in turn, India is currently building 34GW of new coal capability, more than the next 7 countries combined, while its pre-construction pipeline of 21GW is the 2nd biggest on the planet. This is on top of Indias considerable existing running fleet of 233GW (11% of the international total)..

The chart above programs that 11 nations from the OECD or EU28 were constructing 28GW of coal capacity in 2015 and this had actually fallen to 5 countries and 16GW by 2021 (best panel), specifically Japan, Turkey, Poland, South Korea and Greece. (Notably, Greece and South Korea are now both thinking about transforming their unfinished coal plants to gas.).

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An end to Chinese finance would open the door to the cancellation of over 40GW of pipeline tasks in 20 nations, making up the large majority of the 53GW revealed in the chart above.

Back in 2015, when the worlds federal governments worked out the Paris Agreement, there was an overall of 1,553 gigawatts (GW) of coal capacity in the global pipeline, our analysis discovers.

Countries with coal capacity under development in the rest of the world, by advancement, country and capacity status. Source: E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember (2021 ).

Vietnams draft Eighth Power Development Plan (PDP8) — a government file that sets the nations energy trajectory out to 2030 — scales back prepares for new coal capability from previous versions and states that no new coal-fired power plants will be built beyond those already under building or prepared for conclusion by 2025 or quicker.

If the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement are to be satisfied, there is now a broad consensus that unabated coal power generation should be rapidly phased out.

Sharelines from this story.

The chart listed below shows the variety of countries considering coal plants at each stage of advancement on the y-axis, as an alternative method highlighting the diminishing international coal pipeline.

A lot of the coal jobs in these 31 nations are extremely dependent on worldwide public finance to be realised. China is significantly isolated as the last remaining significant company of public finance for abroad coal projects, following Japan and South Koreas recent dedications to end coal finance.

The remaining development pipeline in India is likewise facing a powerful set of headwinds, consisting of lower than expected power need development, more affordable renewables, falling load aspects and trouble in securing financing.

The shift in coal characteristics means that fewer and fewer nations have brand-new coal plants under development– and an increasing list are making this into a formal “no new coal” dedication.

Bangladeshs role as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Group of nations was also reportedly a consider its choice to scrap the coal plants, highlighting the fact that some developing countries are considering their function as greenhouse gas emitters, however modest traditionally, together with their position in bearing the brunt of climate modification.

However, some countries might require worldwide help to support a commitment to no brand-new coal. This could take the kind of provision of private and public clean energy financing, support to develop flexible grid facilities, or technical and capacity help to strengthen regulative and policy structures that speed up the transition from coal-to-clean.

Share of the pre-construction pipeline of coal power jobs under advancement in 6 key countries (tones of red) relative to the rest of the world (grey). Source: E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember (2021 ).

The cancelled capability is 3.6 times more than the 327GW that has actually gone into operation over the very same period, meaning plants in the pipeline have actually been most likely to be ditched than developed.

The very first area is the OECD group of market economies and the EU, where really couple of brand-new coal plants are prepared and countries are participated in accelerating retirements of their existing fleets.

The small scale of proposed coal capability in these countries suggests that a number of them are well positioned to cancel remaining projects, if they want to join an emerging “no new coal club” ahead of COP26.

Relying on the 3rd grouping of non-OECD nations leaving out China, the pre-construction pipeline has actually collapsed by 77% because 2015, with five times as much coal power capacity having actually been scrapped (552GW) as commissioned (105GW).

Others have actually made the relocation individually, with Sri Lanka making an explicit “no brand-new coal” commitment in its 2021 Paris promise (” nationally identified contribution”) and Malaysias Energy Transition Plan 2021-2040 consisting of a commitment to not develop brand-new coal.

Taking a look at each of these regions in turn, the 38-strong OECD group of market economies and EU28 have continued to move far from coal, with the vibrant throughout many of these nations now moving towards sped up retirements.

Bangladesh has also seen its pipeline collapse from over 20GW in 2018 to 10GW today. This collapse consists of 10 plants ditched in the first half of 2021 alone, due to concerns about fuel costs, overcapacity and limited land availability, in addition to the significantly challenging job of drawing in finance.

Variety of nations with coal plants at each phase of advancement, consisting of those announced (blue line), at the pre-permit phase (yellow), allowed (orange) or under building (red). Source: E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember (2021 ).

Changes in the status of coal tasks under advancement around the world 2015-2021, gigawatts. Source: E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember (2021 ).

This overall, shown on the left in the chart below, includes plants under building and construction or in earlier phases of advancement. Since 2015, the pre-construction pipeline has actually collapsed by 76% to 297GW, with simply 185GW under building as of July 2021 (right-hand pie).

Ahead of COP26, all governments are being asked to collectively react to UN secretary general Guterres call for no new coal by 2021. Our analysis discovers that a growing number of countries remain in a position to do so.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sees coal use falling by around four-fifths this years on a 1.5 C pathway. The International Energy Agency roadmap for 1.5 C says unabated coal power must end by 2030 in sophisticated economies and by 2040 globally..

The collapse of the global coal pipeline and the rise of dedications to no brand-new coal have been advancing hand-in-hand over current years. Over the past two years alone, nations as diverse as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Philippines, North Macedonia and Montenegro have actually all made commitments and actions that put them on a path to no brand-new coal.

The Sankey chart listed below aesthetically communicates the scale of cancellations because Paris (dark grey portions) relative to what has actually begun running (dark blue) or entered building and construction (red).

China is a constituent bloc in its own right. However, even with its continued pursuit of coal, its pipeline is now 74% smaller sized, including 484GW of prepared capability that has actually been cancelled because Paris — more than double the amount that entered into operation over that duration (198GW).

To date, our analysis discovers that 44 federal governments have actually devoted to not pursue any new coal plants, numerous through joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.

Since July 2021, these nations account for more than four-fifths (82%) of the remaining advancement pipeline, specifically China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh. This is displayed in the donut chart below (tones of red).

To date, 44 governments have actually dedicated to end the construction of coal plants. A more 33 countries have cancelled their job pipelines since 2015 and remain in a position to make an official “no brand-new coal” promise, along with seven more without any plans to change their coal fleets.

Turkey represents nearly three-quarters of the OECD total, with a pipeline of 12GW. In spite of a significant coal push since 2015, nevertheless, its pipeline has also been contracting rapidly and is now 64% smaller than it was in 2018. Some 8GW was cancelled in the first half of 2021 alone.

Projects nominally still in the pipeline for the first 4 of these nations are unlikely to proceed.

Yet because 2015, India has seen over 326GW of tasks cancelled, a 92% reduction in the pipeline. This includes more than 250GW of capacity that had previously been shelved. This suggests that practically 7GW have been scrapped for each 1GW that has entered into operation.

Worldwide, 1,175 GW of planned jobs have actually been cancelled given that 2015. Speeding up market trends have integrated with brand-new federal government policies and sustained civil society opposition to coal. The world has avoided a 56% growth of the total global coal fleet (since June 2021), which would have been equivalent to adding a second China (1,047 GW) to global coal capability.

In new analysis, published today, we reveal that the worldwide pipeline of brand-new coal plant projects has already shrunk dramatically given that 2015, bringing the world closer to a path consistent with international environment objectives.