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Global Coal Plant Pipeline Slows, According To CoalSwarm

The global coal plant pipeline has slowed during the first half of 2016, according to new figures from CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Plant Tracker.

CoalSwarm published its Mid-2016 Results from its Global Coal Plant Tracker this week, revealing that the total number of coal plants in pre-construction planning, the global coal plant pipeline, had dropped from 1,090 GW at the beginning of 2016 to only 932 GW in July. Specifically, according to CoalSwarm, the dramatic drop was due primarily to shifting policies in Asia.

The largest drop in pre-construction was recorded in China, followed by India, with both countries recently announcing major policy moves away from coal. Other policy moves have been made throughout Southeast Asia, such as in Vietnam, which recently revised its Power Development Plan VII to cancel or postpone 23 GW of planned coal power plants. Indonesia has also recently moved to reschedule over 7 GW of proposed coal power capacity down the track.

Unsurprisingly, however, despite some mitigation of planned coal capacity, the level of coal generating capacity still in the pipeline is still enough to exceed the global carbon budget.

Although the two nations have decreased their coal plant pipelines, China and India remain the two countries with the most proposed coal plants, with 406 GW and 178 GW respectively.

China is definitely seeing the most coal activity — both increases and decreases. CoalSwarm estimates that in April the central Chinese Government suspended 77.5 GW of the country’s pre-construction proposals, and also suggested it might suspend all new coal plant construction until 2018. Yet China has an additional 205 GW of coal plants already into construction, and another 11,580 MW of commissioned new coal in 2016.

Meanwhile, India has 65 GW under construction, despite a recent report stating that 35% of India’s existing coal power capacity is currently unused.

More analysis from CoalSwarm can be found here, and its Global Coal Plant Tracker can be viewed here.

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