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New coal plant construction outside China to reach nine-year low

Only 2 GWs started construction this year.

Coal power plant that began construction outside China is expected to hit a nine-year low in 2023, with construction starts recorded for the year only under two gigawatts (GW).

In a report, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said the figure, is well below the annual average of annual 16 GW for the same set of countries from 2015 to 2022.

“Seeing new coal starts bottom out and the face-off between projects under consideration versus those that have been dropped is a welcomed dose of reality ahead of tough negotiations at COP28,” said Flora Champenois, Project Manager for the Global Coal Power Tracker. 

“Governments, utilities and banks all have a role to play in accelerating the global coal to clean energy transition, starting with an end to new coal projects,” she added.

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From January to September, GEM’s Global Coal Power Tracker found that 18.3 GW of coal capacity were shelved due to lack of updates or cancellation, but the decline in coal under construction was tempered by 15.3 GW of entirely new proposals.

The new proposals under consideration were from India (8.6 GW), Indonesia (2.5 GW), Kazakhstan (4.1 GW), Mongolia (0.5 GW), and 4.2 GW that were previously shelved or cancelled and were re-proposed.

The tracker also found that 39 GW of additional coal capacity were considered cancelled from being shelved, up from 32 GW in 2022.

GEM also said that 110 GW of coal power capacity that remains under construction outside China, with India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, accounting for 83% of the total.

Of the 67 GW under construction outside China as of July 2023, 84% were from India (31.6 GW), Indonesia (14.5 GW), Bangladesh (5.8 GW) and Vietnam (5.4 GW).

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