After China, India has the most proposed coal power projects. In addition, the number of coal power plants under construction globally fell by 13% in 2021.
According to the analysis, India’s pre-construction coal power capacity fell by approximately 90% between 2015 and 2021. It fell from roughly 238.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2015 to 36.6 GW in 202 and 12.7 GW in 2021.
Research shows that despite signals of a coal phaseout in India, more than 23.8 GW of planned capacity exists, with more than half (12.6 GW or 52%) allowed, 31.3 GW under construction, and few with fixed retirement dates.
The researchers also discovered that, after increasing for the first time since 2015 in 2020, total coal power capacity under development fell 13% last year, from 525 GW to 457 GW.
New coal plants are being considered by 34 nations, down from 41 countries in January 2021. China, South Korea, and Japan all vowed not to fund new coal plants in other countries, but China continued to lead other nations in domestic coal plant construction, commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the world combined.
Since the Paris Agreement (to prevent global warming) was signed in 2015, coal plant capacity in pre-construction has decreased by 77%.
The coal plant pipeline is dwindling, but there isn’t enough carbon budget to build new coal plants. Global Energy Monitor’s Flora Champenois said that we have to stop now.
Many rising economies have scaled back plans for additional coal-fired capacity, with India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Egypt leading the way. New phase-out objectives and plant retirements have been declared by developed countries.
Lauri Myllyvirta, chief analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), said that countries with net-zero emission objectives but no coal phase-out strategy in place must now move up.
Sunil Dahiya, an analyst with CREA, said that India’s new aim of 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030 might enable the government to start phasing down coal far before 2030, even if power demand growth remains at pre-pandemic rates.
It would be a highly significant move if a strong no-new-coal plan for the power industry is developed and executed, as it would codify energy and economic growth plans in line with India’s clean energy integration roadmap as agreed at COP26.