Boom and bust 2018: tracking the global coal plant pipeline
For the second year in a row, the number of coal-fired power plants under development worldwide dropped steeply in 2017, led by major declines in China and India, according to a new report released by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm. The report, Boom and Bust 2018: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline, is the fourth annual survey of the global coal plant pipeline. Its findings include a 28 percent year-on-year drop in newly completed coal plants (41 percent in the past two years), a 29 percent year-on-year drop in construction starts (73 percent in the past two years), and a 22 percent drop in plants in permitting and planning (59 percent over the past two years). Reasons for the continued decline in coal power expansion include tightening restrictions on new coal plant projects by Chinese central authorities and a broad retreat from coal financing by private capital in India. Coal plant construction in India is frozen at 17 sites. The report also shows that an all-time record of 97 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants retired in the past three years, led by the U.S. (45 GW), China (16 GW) and UK (8 GW). Based on the rising trend of retirements over the past two decades, the report predicted that the global coal fleet will begin to shrink in 2022, as retirements of old coal plants surpass new coal power capacity.