WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and CoalSwarm released Boom and Bust 2016: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline, the second annual report examining the precarious global coal plant pipeline.
New investigations detailed in the report revealed that while the coal industry continues to push for the construction of more coal-fired power plants, in reality, coal plants are increasingly sitting idle in all of the world's four largest markets, and global coal consumption is declining drastically.
This is particularly evident in China where the government recently took the first step to curb runaway coal plant investment, after the country's coal use plunged by nearly 6.4 per cent in two years.
The report's unprecedentedly detailed mapping of new coal-fired power plants indicates the reported suspension of new permits and new construction starting in half of China's provinces could affect 60 per cent of the 460 new coal-fired units that have been permitted or are in the permitting process.
With coal use on the decline worldwide, the estimated $US981billion ($F2trillion) needed to construct the proposed coal plant pipeline represents a massive investment in potentially stranded assets — resulting in an even further downward spiral for the global coal industry.
In fact, this number is more than one-and-a-half times the amount that the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates is needed to end energy poverty for the 1.2 billion people currently living without reliable energy access.