The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and CoalSwarm have released their third annual survey of the global coal plant pipeline, Boom and Bust 2017: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline. The report’s findings include a 62 percent drop in new coal plant construction starts globally, a 48 percent reduction in worldwide pre-construction activity, and an 85 percent decline in new Chinese coal plant permits.
According to the report, the combination of a slowed new coal plant pipeline and an increase in outdated coal plant retirements brings the possibility of holding global temperature increase to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels “within feasible reach,” provided countries continue to step up action.
This is a weird statement as China is still building coal plants and still plans to have more coal usage. It is only shaving the growth by half and that is mainly because of slower economic growth.
On the low estimate for 1.5C degree change, the world is about 14 months away from using up the permitted CO2 emissions. On the low estimate for 2C degree change, the world is less than ten years away from using up the permitted CO2 emissions. They must be looking at the 33% chance of 1.5C and 2C instead of the 66% chance. They also are not discussing how 1.5C must have insanely massive forest growth projects and huge scale carbon sequestering. It would involve overshoot and then massive negative emission projects.
China added 5% more power generation in 2016. This was 240 TWh more to 5920 TWh. Almost half of this was coal or other fossil fuel power.
India, Africa and south Asia will be developing and many of them will depend upon coal power for their development.
Japan, Germany and many other developed nations are building more coal power. These are new plans for the 2020s or already happened a few years ago when the population freaked out about nuclear power. Nuclear power does not emit CO2. Under most assumptions a few life cycle analysis shows nuclear is about ten to twenty times less emitting than coal.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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