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The tide turns against coal

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Coal,

Despite the Trump Administration’s pledges to bring back coal in the US, countries around the world are beginning to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels.

A new report suggests that 2016 saw a 62% fall in the number of new coal-fired power plants being built worldwide in 2016, along with a 48% drop in ‘pre-construction activity’, reversing a 10 year trend of expansion.

This dramatic slowdown in coal-fired power generation takes the world one step closer towards achieving its emissions targets for 2020, as laid down in the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015.

To take one example, the UK Government has committed to phasing out ‘unabated’ coal power stations by 2025, which suggests that emissions will have to captured using new CCS technologies. This trend is being reflected across Europe, as large numbers of coal-fired plants are being retired.

The coal industry has dismissed this news, and has highlighted the fact that countries such as India and China were still heavily reliant on coal, and it will be long before renewable technologies displace it. This being said, the number of coal-fired power plants in Asia is being slowly reduced. Namely, Chinese central government has imposed restrictions on the contruction of new coal-fired plants, with the equivalent of 600 coal-fired units being put on hold until at least 2020.

However, the number of coal-fired plants under development in Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and elsewhere means that it will be some time before coal power becomes redundant.

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