• Five Asian countries planning 600 coal-fired units, Carbon Tracker analysis shows

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Analysis by the Carbon Tracker think tank has found that China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan have planned between them 600 new coal-fired units, 80% of the world’s planned additional capacity. The five countries’ total planned capacity comes to 302.7GW, at around US$149 billion (€126.5 billion) of capital outlay, and is in stark contrast to the International Energy Agency’s roadmap to net-zero by 2050, which sees no new coal-fired capacity after this year. Carbon Tracker itself argues that the investment could be “wasted”, given that the assets may become unusable through legislation, and also because levelised costs of electricity show that renewable energies would be cheaper and preferable to a switch to gas (even though methods for levelised costs of electricity are questionable at higher shares of renewable energies). Separately, Carbon Tracker’s analysis has shown that around 70% of the world’s current coal fleet relies financially on “some degree of policy support” and “would likely be unprofitable in the absence of market distortions”, although market intervention from governments is the norm for most power generation technology. China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan currently have around 75% of the world’s existing coal-fired capacity.