• Planned coal power investment in Asia dropping rapidly, according to analysis by Global Energy Monitor

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Developing countries in Asia are rapidly changing their plans to invest in new coal-fired power plants, according to analysis and estimates by Global Energy Monitor. Five years ago, around 125 GW of new capacity was planned by countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh, but with policy changes announced by those governments, the planned expansion is now lower, possibly as low as 25 GW. A similar scenario has occurred in India, where currently planned projects amount to 30 GW of capacity, compared to the 238 GW planned in 2015. In place of coal are gas and renewables, and some of the estimates are based on indications of future policy announcements, such as Vietnam’s new energy plan, which is expected early this year, and a policy in Bangladesh to scrap plans for any new coal-fired power plants, which is awaiting the prime minister’s signature. Part of the reason for the withdrawal in investment appears to be climate concerns, while more accessible and affordable natural gas and cheaper renewables are also major factors, as would be air quality concerns, and finally the availability of finance for coal-fired projects. In the near term, however, coal use is rising amid strong demand from China, India, South Korea and Japan.