Coal-fired power stations under construction around the world

What do we know that they don’t?

From the Global Coal Plant Tracker. Coal Plants by Country (Power Stations) to July 2018 30MW and larger. The total for the top 100 countries is 270 (file not fully loading). China 130 under construction and 106 Announced, pre-Permit or Permitted; India 41 and 47; Indonesia 20 (50); Vietnam 9 (27); Turkey 3 (39); Bangladesh 4 (19); Philippines 9 (16); Japan 13 (13); Pakistan 4 (10); Mongolia 3, Poland 4, Taiwan 2, Russia 3 etc.

There is another table Coal Plants by Country (Units) with larger numbers adding up to 491 under construction with 790 Announced, Pre-Permit and Permitted. This seems to indicate that plants can have more than one unit.

Regardless of the way you cut it, the coal miners of the world are going to be digging for a few decades yet and you can see why an international agency has projected that wind and solar will only be contributing 4% of the world’s energy at the mid-century.

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31 Responses to Coal-fired power stations under construction around the world

  1. Singleton Engineer

    Coal fired and many other power stations in Australia typically have 2 to 4 units. Hazelworth had 8, from memory.

    By comparison, wind often has a few dozen generators, feeding through a single connection to the grid.

    Thanks for reminding folk that, despite 90% of the noise about electricity nationally comes from the spruikers for renewables (or “unreliables” as I started calling them about 5 years back), most of whom seem to have personal commercial or academic career connections to either wind or solar.

    The current percentage of electricity generated by the unreliables is only a couple of percent and that is unlikely to become significant before 2030… 2050… whatever date you choose.

  2. Robber Baron

    According to the tables it is “people of colour” (no white) that are building coal fired power plants and polluting the world with CO2 and contributing to climate change.

    These polluting countries are destroying the Great Barrier Reef, causing the NSW drought and WA rains. We should put a carbon tax on all goods and services from these countries. Will someone please think of the children? It’s the right thing to do. Josh and Maol must act!

  3. Craig Mc

    Thanks for reminding folk that, despite 90% of the noise about electricity nationally comes from the spruikers for renewables (or “unreliables” as I started calling them about 5 years back), most of whom seem to have personal commercial or academic career connections to either wind or solar.

    [cough]Ross Garnaut[cough]

  4. John Murphy

    Well according to Watts up with that
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/03/forget-paris-1600-new-coal-power-plants-built-around-the-world/
    The figure is 1600.
    No nation in the West can cut enough to make room for that number.
    The hoax is over

  5. John

    I can add to this tally as HELE coal fired power stations have been licensed and permitted in Swaziland 5k megawatt), Zambia and Kenya (1 plus 1 megawatt each). A further 8 are under application in South Africa (5k megawatt each) and interest from Botswana and other countries across Southern Africa

  6. Never mind, Australia will show the world how to save the planet by going full renewables. Or is that full retard?

  7. Herodotus

    It appears that what we know is how to elect politicians who know nothing but enforce ideological stupidity.
    This is the case at both state and federal levels, and applies regardless of Labor or Lib/Nats forming government.
    I mean, really, you only have to look at Dan Andrews to see there’s something not right. And there are so many more in every state.

  8. RobK

    Plans For New Reactors Worldwide

    (Updated July 2018)

    Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with about 50 reactors under construction.Most reactors on order or planned are in the Asian region, though there are major plans for new units in Russia.Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading.Plant lifetime extension programs are maintaining capacity, particularly in the USA.

    Today there are about 450 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of over 390 GWe. In 2015 these provided 2571 billion kWh, about 11% of the world’s electricity.

    About 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries (see Table below), notably China, India, UAE and Russia.

    Each year, the OECD’s International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the present situation as well as reference and other – particularly carbon reduction – scenarios. In the 2017 edition of its World Energy Outlook report, the IEA’s ‘New Policies Scenario’ sees installed nuclear capacity growth of over 25% from 2015 (about 404 GWe) to 2040 (about 516 GWe). The scenario envisages a total generating capacity of 11,960 GWe by 2040, with the increase concentrated heavily in Asia, and in particular China (33% of the total). In this scenario nuclear’s contribution to global power generation increases to about 14% of the total.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx

  9. flyingduk

    The current percentage of electricity generated by the unreliables is only a couple of percent and that is unlikely to become significant before 2030… .

    actually, they are quite ‘signficant’ already: I live in SA and bought a ‘whole house’ autostart genny after the first of our 3 multiday blackouts. It has run for over 90 hours since then.

  10. P

    Demand for Australian coal escalates, building on last year’s turnaround
    Posted 28 Jun 2018

    “Demand from the Asian market is pushing prices for both thermal and coking coal up and, according to analysts, the trend is set to continue.
    So much so, a study commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia predicts a 400 million tonne increase in annual demand by 2030 — double Australia’s total thermal coal export level in 2017.”

    ‘The 2017 year was actually a record year for coal exports, some $57 billion,’ he said. (Greg Evans)

    The increase in demand has been attributed to infrastructure building programs throughout Asia, along with increased industrialisation and urbanisation.
    Mr Evans said that went hand-in-hand with the need for affordable energy.
    ‘That’s the economic expansion story which is happening in Asia. It’s happening from Pakistan through to Vietnam, with economic development and population growth,’ he said.”

  11. zyconoclast

    flyingduk
    #2786789, posted on August 12, 2018 at 8:45 am
    The current percentage of electricity generated by the unreliables is only a couple of percent and that is unlikely to become significant before 2030… .

    actually, they are quite ‘signficant’ already: I live in SA and bought a ‘whole house’ autostart genny after the first of our 3 multiday blackouts. It has run for over 90 hours since then.

    What ‘whole house’ autostart genny did you get? Specifications?

  12. stackja

    Australia has never had a full socialist regime. Others have and know the result. A great leap forward?

  13. Robbo

    That message from the rest of the world is being happily ignored by the nuff buffs that are in government, federal and state, in Australia. While everywhere else they are building new coal fired generators here in cloud cuckoo land we are closing them down. Our coal is being sent overseas while our governments congratulate themselves on their non-existent contribution to a “cleaner environment”, as the citizens they rule over contemplate ever higher energy bills.
    If the world has gone mad, as some would have us believe, then surely the epicentre of that madness is Australia. No wonder most of us loathe and distrust the political classes.

  14. “the greatest moral, economic and engineering challenge of our time”.

    Phar Cough roonables and build coal generators or face economic destruction.

  15. Herodotus
    #2786732, posted on August 12, 2018 at 6:35 am

    It appears that what we know is how to elect politicians who know nothing but enforce ideological stupidity.

    The only stupid people are the green haired fat lesbos who believe they are saving the planet. All the rest…ALL OF THEM…the politicians, the bureaucrats, the “scientists”, industry leaders etc are in it FOR THE MONEY.
    There are billions involved and almost all of it government mandated, so corruption is rife.
    Follow the money.

  16. Faye

    Without cheap reliable energy, a country is doomed. So… bright spark, Malcolm, hits on the idea to get Parliament to GUARANTEE that his expensive unreliable energy will really truly be cheap and reliable. Full circle madness.
    Anyone counting the days when we see the back of this wrecker.

  17. RobK

    Some RE projects are finding that the grid isn’t set up for low grade electricity. FROM RENEWECONOMY

    solar, wind projects stumble in front of new grid hurdles

    Giles Parkinson30 July
    Image: iStock

    The 100MW Numurkah solar farm might be one of the lucky ones.

    Located in Shepparton, in a part of Victoria with a relatively strong network, construction on the state’s biggest solar farm to date begins this week and the project owners, Neoen, are confident that no major hurdles will be put in place.

    But that’s not the case for many other wind and solar projects in Victoria and elsewhere.

    Some, including those that have gotten as far as signing power purchase agreements, are having to go back to the drawing board because of connection requirements the developers either ignored, or didn’t know about.

    The issue is most acute in western Victoria, but is also being felt in northern Queensland and south-west NSW.

    Many new projects are being told that they face significant curtailment without either adding battery storage or old-style machinery known as synchronous condensers to deal with system strength issues.

    Both options are causing headaches for developers, because either way they are trashing their financial models, and could cause extensive delays to projects that many expected would begin construction anytime soon.

    The issue was highlighted in our story in May about the threat of curtailment in Victoria, where project developers were warned by the Australian Energy Market Operator that up to 50 per cent of their output was at risk of being wound back.

    reneweconomy.com.au/major-solar-wind-projects-stumble-in-front-of-new-grid-hurdles-71104/
    RTWT

  18. New Chum

    Fossil fuel is great again.

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/dnc-reverses-course-will-now-accept-donations-from-fossil-fuel-companies/

    Two months after banning contributions from oil and coal companies, the DNC does an about-face.
    By Rick Moran August 11, 2018

  19. H B Bear

    “… or old-style machinery known as synchronous condensers to deal with system strength issues.”

    The “old style machinery” required to deal with the sh1tty, low quality power output of the shiny, new fangled machinery loved by the Gaia worshipers at reneweconomy.

    What happened to Gillard’s gold plated networks?

  20. LGS

    Of course, Australia knows so much better than the rest of the world! (sarc off)
    I despair that both sides of politics in this country (Labor are only marginally worse) are prepared to destroy the Australian economy and impoverish the average Aussie, in the name of the great Green God Gaia, while the vast majority of other countries are happily continuing to use coal, or (gasp! shock! horror!) nuclear.
    And when that happens, all the foreign creditors will move in and take over our bankrupt country.
    We really are the stupid country.

  21. Natural Instinct

    Coal and Coal Seam Gas
    Revised May 2014
    Principles
    We believe:
    1. The overwhelming scientific evidence of human-induced global warming demands that each state and nation substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring about a transition away from fossil fuels to a 100% renewable energy economy.
    2. New South Wales, as a major coal producer, user and exporter, has a particular responsibility to end the reliance on coal and urgently begin the transition to a low carbon and energy efficient economy.
    3. Given that coal mined in NSW is a major source of greenhouse gases on a national and global scale, The Greens are committed to phasing out the coal industry and its replacement with a jobs-rich, clean energy economy
    4. Coal Seam Gas (CSG) is not a ‘clean transition’ fuel because of the potential for substantial fugitive methane emissions associated with extraction and distribution. CSG may prove to be more damaging to the climate than coal.
    5. Coal mining and CSG exploration and extraction results in massive damage to:
    .. a. the social and economic viability of communities in the vicinity of coal mines;
    .. b. ecosystems, rivers, and the geological integrity of landscapes;
    .. c. other wealth and employment generating activities including farming and tourism;
    .. d. health of communities;
    .. e. climate.

    .
    No the “we” above is the NSW Greens.
    Or is is the Liberal Party. After the NEG I am not sure.

  22. RobK

    What happened to Gillard’s gold plated networks?
    All part of the many hidden costs of increasing relience on RE. The faster it proceeds, the more expensive it will be. It will never be as good as what we had if RE is beyond 10-15% unless it can do so without subsidies.
    This experiment is doomed to fail, exacerbated by the forcing of legislated controls causing the use of inappropriate and immature technology to be adopted where it is not fit for purpose. The cost to rectify the problem increases by the day.

  23. Speedbox

    We really are the stupid country.

    Yes, and Australia deserves everything it gets. Time and again the people have had opportunities to get involved, to protest and make their voice heard, to vote for those who will fight this nonsense, to support those branded and mocked as ‘naysayers’ by a compliant media………instead, the people are largely apathetic beyond description.

    “oh woe is me, I have a big electricity bill. How did that happen and when will the Government do something?”

    Retards. This country is fucked.

  24. Squirrel

    “Regardless of the way you cut it, the coal miners of the world are going to be digging for a few decades yet”. This might help to stave off the increasingly inevitable Australian current account crisis for a bit longer – exclude coal exports (not to mention other mineral exports which the loonies would love to close down) and the trade figures are very, very ugly.

    Oddly, all those wonderful, world-beating high-skill, large-scale export industries are always just around the corner – just like the miraculous technology which is going to provide cheap, reliable and abundant storage for renewable power.

  25. yarpos

    Interesting isnt it? I recall in recent weeks Alan Kohler putting up on of the beloved charts , showing the capacity trend in GW of global coal fired plants. The graph was definitively downward (source? who knows) and he declared this as a sign of the great “transition to renewables” More agenda that factual content methinks.

  26. RobK

    Yarpos,
    There are lots of projections. Here is one from reneweconomy.com.au/peak-coal-getting-closer-latest-figures-show-26919/

    latest figures show

    Dr Christine Shearer1 August 2018  

    Total global coal capacity continues to inch up, but a peak is on the horizon. In the first half of 2018, retired capacity has nearly matched newly operating plants and the global pipeline for proposed coal is quickly eroding.

    This is according to CoalSwarm’s latest Global Coal Plant Tracker results, which we completed in July 2018. Our figures confirm the sector is in the midst of rapid change. [Carbon Brief recently used the data from the tracker to produce a global coal plant mapand timeline.]

    Even if global coal capacity peaks soon, however, the sector is set to breach its share of internationally agreed climate goals — unless large numbers of coal plants retire early.

    Dramatic changes

    The most dramatic changes are taking place in China and India, which are both dealing with a growing number of coal plants operating well below optimal levelsor are frozen in construction.

    In China, this is primarily due to power overcapacity. In India, it is due to financial issues and increasing competition from renewable power.

    The table below shows that while some countries have a significant amount of planned or under-construction coal capacity, the amount under development does not nearly match the scale of development in China and India, particularly over the past decade. Many of the plans in these other countries are highly reliant on foreign aid, as discussed below.

    To date, 28 countries have committed to phase out coal use, although none of the countries include the 10 shown above that are home to 85% of the world’s existing coal plants. However, Germany is planninga coal phase out, and past and planned retirements put the US on track to close a near-record amount of coal plant capacity this year.

    The discussion continues about planned and in-construction etc. These figures are all subject to change for various reasons. You can put any slant you like on it.

  27. Robber baron
    the poles would not like to be considered people of colour,although white is a colour. To refresh your understanding of the science the climate has been changing since the beginning. CO2 as the driver is as best a theory that has never been proven . Theres more Carbon dioxide around so why is this warming not accelerating

  28. Gerard

    Extra coal power under the NEG will not help much because total emission are capped. This means that as new coal power comes on stream, older plants will have to close. Because new coal plants are more expensive, prices will go up. The other alternative is to go to gas as a source of power. You can have more gas generation under NEG because gas is less emission intensive. However, because of gas exploration and production bans, gas power costs more. Again gas energy will eventually be caught by the emissipns cap. The NEG also introduces a hidden carbon tax. So all indications are that prices will increase.

  29. Singleton Engineer

    Nuclear.

    Now I have uttered the forbidden word.

    IF reduction of CO2 emissions due to electricity generation is the goal (Greens? Scientists? Labor? Other?)…
    THEN it is appropriate to see what has worked and what has not.
    THE LIST of successes is short: nuclear power (France, Japan, Sweden, USA (in parts), Ontario, Canada), plus some lucky countries and regions that have access to copious hydro (Norway, Iceland, Tasmania) or wet geothermal (NZ South Island and Iceland and parts of South America).
    BUT THERE ARE LIMITS to hydro and geothermal.
    So, NUCLEAR.

    NOT WORKING AT SCALE: wind, solar PV, solar thermal – due to limits of size, unreliability, bird and bat death counts (wind), cost, need for firming and need for enormouse interconnection via HV transmission lines, even globally according to some ”experts”.

    NOT WORKING AT ALL: Decommissioning existing nuclear power early (Japan, Germany, USA eg California, Taiwan, since regretted, South Korea, since regretted.)

    TOO EXPENSIVE TO CONTEMPLATE AT SCALE: Batteries, Demand Management, ie organised blackouts and energy poverty, Pixie dust.

    I guess that means that the majority of the world is increasing CO2 emissions while pretending otherwise. Two-faced politicians are to blame for this failing, expensive social experiment.

    Apologies for shouting, but most people seem unable to hear me at normal volumes.

  30. .

    I’m going to have to repeat myself to point out how stupid renewables are. We’re close to small-scale “hot” fusion and indeed LENR (“cold” fusion).

    We don’t want or need solar, wind or any other stupid, expensive and inefficient/unreliable idiocy.

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19652/lockheed-martin-now-has-a-patent-for-its-potentially-world-changing-fusion-reactor

    https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/5552-sri-report-independently-verifies-brillouin-lenr-reactions-report-included/

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