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Developing economies are hungry for coal

September 18, 2012

The World Resources Institute has concluded an analysis of plans for new electricity plants around the globe, and has found that the hunger for coal is extensive, especially in developing nations.  The study, which is unpublished but which was shared with ClimateWire and Scientific American, finds that over 1200 new coal-fired plants are pending around the world – about 2/3 of them in China and India (and over 1/3 in India alone).

Scientific American notes that:

The WRI assessment appears to be the most exhaustive compilation to date of coal plants in the global pipeline, along with robust analyses of the export landscape and financing trend.  . . . Culled from government and corporate websites, commercially available websites, news reports and civil society initiatives, the data on each plant were then cross-checked with field knowledge, according to the assessment. They cover only pending plants, not those already under construction.

In addition to China and India, multiple new plants are pending in South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam, among many other nations.  Many of these new plants will be built with assistance from the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund, which may seem a bit Orwellian, but the idea is that by creating a more stable, secure and reliable source of electricity in developing nations, it will actually reduce the amount of CO2 emissions, even if relatively dirty fuel is used, because of the advanced technology in the new plants.

Existing coal fired plant in Tatamund, India

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