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War will force nations to reignite retired coal power plants?

Many countries of the world started closing coal power plants. To deal with climate change and to control the temperature of the earth

By Pallav Jain
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Many countries of the world started closing coal power plants. To deal with climate change and to control the temperature of the earth, it is necessary to find new sources of energy and stop the energy sources that emit carbon. But due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, there is a danger of disrupting the gas supply of many European countries, because it is supplied from Russia.

Russia is facing economic sanctions from European countries. European countries also want to reduce their dependence on Russia as soon as possible. In such a situation, the sudden stoppage of gas supply from Russia will mean gas crisis in these countries. In such a situation, Germany and Italy can restart their coal power plants in emergency. This could be a setback to our climate goals.

Coal capacity declined by 13%, could rise again due to war?

According to a recent report, there is a growing apathy for coal-based energy around the world. There is also a decline in the coal power plants being set up. These facts are revealed in the annual 'Boom and Bust' report of the Global Energy Monitor. This annual report looks at the annual increase or decrease in the fleet of coal power plants operating globally.

Global Energy Monitor Report

Globally developing coal plant capacity is set to decline in 2021, according to this eighth report by the Global Energy Monitor.

The report found that after increasing in 2020 for the first time since 2015, total developing coal plant capacity declined by 13% last year to 457 GW from 525 gigawatts (GW).

Also, where coal plant capacity was previously under consideration in 41 countries, in January 2021
has been reduced to 34 countries. Notably China, South Korea, and Japan pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, but by commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the countries combined, China left behind all countries in the development of new domestic coal plants.

Keep in mind that this month's report of the Important Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that there is no carbon budget left to accommodate new coal plants, and global temperature rise by 1.5 °C, In line with the Paris Agreement, coal use needs to be reduced by 75% by 2030 (from 2019 levels) in order to limit it below.

In 2021, the operating coal fleet grew by a total of 18.2 GW, as a result of the post-Covid recovery.

Some of the main findings of this report are as follows:

Globally, more than half (56%) of the 45 GW of new commissioned capacity was in China. Outside China, the global coal fleet shrank for the fourth year in a row, albeit at a slower rate than in 2020.

The newly commissioned capacity in China (25.2 GW) offsets the retirement of about 25.6 GW of coal plant in the rest of the world.

Japan, South Korea and China all pledged to end public support for new international coal plants, followed by all G20 countries before COP26. With these promises, there is essentially no significant international public funder left for new coal plants.

In 2021, the amount of US coal capacity to be retired declined for the second year in a row.

The 27 member states of the European Union retired a record 12.9 GW in 2021, and Germany (5.8 GW), Spain (1.7 GW), and Portugal (1.9 GW), saw the most retirements. Portugal became coal-free in November 2021, nine years ahead of its target 2030 phase-out date.

Coal plant capacity in pre-construction has declined by 77% since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

“The coal plant pipeline is shrinking, but there is no carbon budget left to build new coal plants. We need to stop now,” said Flora Champenois of the Global Energy Monitor.

He added, "The direction of the latest IPCC report for Small Opportunities for a Habitable Climate is clear - by 2030 in the developed world stop building new coal plants and retire existing ones, and in the rest of the world this will be the case." Be soon after."

Further, Laurie Milevierta, principal analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, said, "Many emerging economies, such as India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Egypt, have cut their plans for new coal-fired capacity, with the biggest cuts. Developed countries have announced new phased targets and plant retirements.

In China, plans for new coal-fired power plants continue to be announced. Ideally, the government's ambitious plans to increase clean power generation by 2025 would mean that coal-fired power plants would be less likely to use up capacity. But unless new coal power projects are controlled more strictly, Overcapacity of coal-fired electricity could make China's energy transition more difficult and more expensive.

E3G's Leo Roberts says, "The resulting impacts of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the global energy market have only exposed what we already knew – building new coal-fired power stations is a costly mistake. As in this The analysis shows, many countries around the world have realized this and have turned their backs on new coal power projects, but many others are yet to do so. Countries that are still considering new coal power stations in 2022 openly face high energy costs for consumers, the imminent threat of expensive stranded assets and an economy increasingly dependent on fossil fuels to power Accepting incoming energy insecurities."

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