Skip to content

Global Coal Power Capacity Set To Rise By 33%

October 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood


I covered Matt McGrath’s report last week on the then ongoing discussions re the IPCC report. Tucked away right at the end was this paragraph:


A new analysis by a group of environmental organisations says that 1,380 new coal plants or units are planned, or under development, in 59 countries. If built, these plants would add 672,124 megawatts of energy capacity to the global coal plant fleet – an increase of 33%.


I doubt whether any of these new plants contradict anything pledged in INDCs at Paris, which rather underlines the whole futility of the exercise there.

And while some of the plants may replace older polluting ones, countries who are building them certainly will not be prepared to close these new ones prematurely.


Globally, coal power generation currently accounts for about 47%  37% of total power, so an increase in capacity of 33% will add signficantly to that share, particularly given that these modern, efficient and clean plants will likely be run at much higher utilisation levels.

  1. John Palmer permalink
    October 13, 2018 10:55 am

    Isn’t it just as likely that this 33% increase will take place in less developed areas of the globe and meet their ever-increasing power demands? If that’s the case, then coal’s share of global energy supply would remain at or about the current level.Coupled to the constant, Green-demanded reduction in coal use elsewhere that would allow them to claim that they’re winning the ‘war-on-coal’ whereas in fact, coal’s contribution (to a much larger energy market) in sheer output will have greatly increased. But they never quote the rising global energy demand, just the bits supplied by ruinable (good) or fossil fuels (v. bad).

  2. saighdear permalink
    October 13, 2018 11:04 am

    Ah, But……………………..

  3. October 13, 2018 11:05 am

    The World Bank is glad of reliable coal power at its luxury beano in Bali, even as it bans energy loans to poor countries who want more of it.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 13, 2018 11:44 am

    Global oil demand reached (or was due to) 100 million barrels a day recently.

    Anyone that thinks that fossil fuels are going away is certifiable.

    The evacuation for Michael would have been impossible without fossil fuels – the grid would have gone down as people tried to charge their cars and roads would have been blocked with flat cars, and a renewables electricity infrastructure would have been destroyed and out of commission for months if not years. 10s of thousands would have died.

    Meanwhile people keep robbing the renewables ‘free’ government money gravy train.

  5. October 13, 2018 12:07 pm

    Original full research article here:

  6. MALCOLM BELL permalink
    October 13, 2018 1:10 pm


    I have just listened to last week’s “Moral Maze” discussing global warming. Largely dominated by Monbiot it was a complete edition of the Guardian in which no challenge was made to the prime assumption that global warming was real and all tge discussion took as its absolute predicate that it is people who are causing it and that people can stop it. The biggest single cause they focussed on was flying and eating red meat – the worst of the latter being sheep meat!

    Can I encourage you to listen to it? The BBC has broken its intellectual moral contract with us, its listeners. It is totally lost in its own moral maze.

    In Friendship

    Malcolm (Mike) Bell


    • October 13, 2018 1:42 pm

      This is the New Normal on the BBC, discussions are balanced … between various shades of red and green, and they rely on well known howlers such as “China will exit coal because of air pollution” (the exact opposite is the reality, people need electricity so they can stop burning coal in their homes and small factories), and “wind power is now the cheapest way of generating electricity”.

  7. CheshireRed permalink
    October 13, 2018 3:07 pm

    Strange how NONE of the Green Blob actually mention the expansion of brand new coal power stations. It’s almost as if they recognise that global energy policies simply don’t match their rhetoric.
    On that basis alone it’s clear politico’s DON’T believe the central theory itself, otherwise how and why would the UN allow any nation to build ‘carbon’-spewing coal power stations? Quite simply, they wouldn’t.
    Hence they know the theory is entirely bogus and is in fact designed to redistribute wealth away from more developed, successful nations.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      October 13, 2018 3:29 pm

      Do you actually think that the UN can do anything about what soveriegn nations do to supply “basics” to their own countries?
      They have tried by witholding cash from them via the world bank and then someone like the Russians, Chinese or Japanese step in with an “investment”.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 13, 2018 3:24 pm

    I think your figure of 47% coal is a little high. BP energy statistics now include a tab on generation, which shows for 2017 global generation of 25,551TWh, with 3.5% from oil, 23.2% from natural gas, 38.1% from coal, 10.3% from nuclear, 15.9% from hydro, 8.4% from renewables, and 0.7% from “other”.

    Interestingly, National Grid are forecasting an increase in UK coal burn this winter because gas has become the more expensive fuel, despite soaring carbon emissions allowance prices. Perhaps it’s really an admission that supply will get rather tighter than they feel comfortable about.

    • October 13, 2018 5:49 pm

      Yes, you are right.

      Must have been a typo!

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      October 14, 2018 1:38 pm

      I think Paul has probably got a figure for CO2 Emissions.
      An alternative tab is primary energy consumption in Mtoe, which is a broader perspective. This gives 34.2% from oil, 23.4% from natural gas, 27.6% from coal, 4.4% from nuclear, 6.8% from hydro, and 3.6% from renewables. Don’t know what happened to the “other”.
      Interesting that if one excludes China, the global percentage for coal falls to 17.7% as China has 49.3% of the global coal consumption.

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    October 13, 2018 5:50 pm

    the whole futility of ” the IPCC

    “Futility” (the word) implies pointlessness or uselessness but not ethical condemnation of ‘wastefulness’, or similar appropriate word. But, indeed, it is also futile.
    All the money (wealth) consumed by activities of the IPCC could be applied to serious issues, such as clean drinking water, and Vitamin A deficiency. And education.

    This is why, for me, the UN-IPCC generates more anger than sorrow. Please feel free to substitute any other emotions, less polite if you like, of your own.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      October 13, 2018 5:53 pm

      Click on the little x box and open the image that way. Sorry. Thanks.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: