A joint report by three environmental groups – CoalSwarm, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace published Wednesday that a significant progress has been made and climate outlook has improved. Thanks to cutbacks in major emerging markets like China and India, construction of new coal-fired power plants is falling worldwide, improving chances of achieving global climate goals.
Ted Nace, director of CoalSwarm, said in a statement, “It’s not normal to see construction frozen at scores of locations, but central authorities in China and bankers in India have come to recognize overbuilding of coal plants as a major waste of resources… However abrupt, the shift from fossil fuels to clean sources in the power sector is a positive one for health, climatesecurity, and jobs. And by all indications, the shift is unstoppable.”
“Growing awareness of the air pollution problems coal causes, the impact of policies to tackle climate change, and the rapid growth and cost-competitiveness of renewable sources of energy, along with emerging battery technologies, are making new coal plants redundant before they are even built,” added Paul Massara, a former CEO of RWE npower now working with North Star Solar.
It is unclear if the lower demand for coal in 2016 will continue at the same rate. “We have to meet the basic needs of people while pushing for energy transition at the same time,” said Yongping Zhai, an adviser on energy to the Asian Development Bank. “You will need a mixture of different fuels. Coal will be there. You cannot avoid it.” Reported the Washington Post.
“It’s true that we are seeing a slowdown in coal plant additions, but that doesn’t mean that demand will stop increasing or that they won’t need to build coal plants,” said Zhou.