New Study Finds Five Asian Countries Are Building 80 Percent of the World’s New Coal Power Plants

By Christian Spencer, The Hill

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build over 600 new coal power plants. (photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty)

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build over 600 new coal power plants. (photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty)

30 June 21

“Renewables offer a cheaper solution that supports global climate targets.”

hina, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build 80 percent of the world’s new coal plants, according to a new report.

Carbon Tracker, a London-based nonprofit think tank researching the effects of climate change on financial markets, released its findings Wednesday.

The five Asian countries — including Japan whose prime minister attended the Group of Seven Summit where world leaders discussed meeting climate goals and phasing in sustainable initiatives — are building more than 600 coal power units despite renewable energy being cheaper, The Guardian reported.

The coal plants will generate a total of 300 gigawatts of energy, enough power to run the U.K. more than three times over. This comes as climate experts at the U.N. recently called for all new coal plants to be canceled, according to The Guardian.

“Coal no longer makes sense financially or environmentally. Governments should now create a level playing field which allows renewables to grow at least cost, using post-COVID stimulus spending as an opportunity to lay the foundations for a sustainable energy system,” said Hillenbrand Von Der Neyen.

China continues to be the world’s leading coal investor. The country aims to boost operation by increasing its existing 1,100-gigawatt coal-fired power plants by an additional 187 gigawatts, according to the report.

The nonprofit says solar and wind farms generate 85 percent cheaper electricity compared to coal plants. By 2024, renewable energy will completely outperform coal power, according to Carbon Tracker.

The report also says that renewable energy in India and Indonesia could outcompete coal by 2024. And in Japan and Vietnam, coal will become uneconomic compared to renewable energy by 2022.

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