Planned coal plant expansions in Europe have backfired, Asia could lose too
To date, 77% of this new capacity has been cancelled, with more likely to be cancelled soon. 20GW has been cancelled in Germany alone. The economics of existing plants have deteriorated too. For example, in the UK coal use fell by over half in 2016 and the country’s power system now experiences coal-free days for the first time since the 1880s.
New analysis from the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment finds that unjustified optimism in the future of coal at a company-level combined with wishful thinking in sector-wide forecasting led to the proposed coal expansions that ultimately backfired. The scale and pace of the decline in coal’s economic attractiveness is significant and provides a cautionary tale for Asian utilities and their investors.