Posted on : 30 Mar 2016
Claims that Asia is on the verge of a huge coal power expansion are incorrect, says a new report.
The report, Asia’s Tigers: Reconciling coal, climate and energy demand, argues that the Asian Tiger economies with the world’s four biggest coal power project pipelines, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, are likely to build far less than half of their current planned coal plants.
The four ‘Asian Tigers’ have 1,824 plants either in planning or under construction – more than two-thirds of the world total. But the report concludes that the number actually built in the next five years will fall far short of 1,000 plants, and is likely to lie in the region of around 500.
The report’s author, GWG Energy’s Gerard Wynn, said: “These findings suggest that claims of an Asian coal boom that will derail climate change pledges made at the recent Paris summit are wide of the mark.
“In fact, the evidence suggests that the shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuels in favour of cleaner forms of energy is happening much faster than anyone could have expected.
“The report’s assessment of new capacity that will be built may even be an over-estimate once the Paris Agreement comes into effect, as it will further restrict financing for new coal projects.”
The report identifies a number of factors that are likely to constrain the number of coal plants built:
Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said: “This report belies the notion that coal will be forever King in Asia, further undermining the already spurious argument that there’s no point in countries such as the UK reducing carbon emissions because cuts will be obliterated by China and India’s coal burning.
“It’s worth noting too that money is moving away from coal, with the world’s largest private company Peabody hovering on the edge of bankruptcy and investors such as JPMorgan Chase and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund pulling out of coal. 
“Asian countries will build new some new coal-fired power stations, but lack of finance, air pollution, the growth of low-cost renewables, the Paris factor – all suggest that the total will be far less than the headline figures imply.”
Notes to editors
For more information:
Richard Black, director, ECIU, Tel: 07912 583 328, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
George Smeeton, head of communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: email@example.com
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