A federal court in Washington, D.C. has struck down the Dakota Access Pipeline, following years of campaigning by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Despite fervour for renewables, thousands of coal plants are in the pipeline
Even though COP21 seems to have ushered in an energy transition towards renewables, there are still too many coal plants being planned around the world.
There are nearly 2,500 coal plants in some stage of development worldwide. These will produce more than four times as much emissions as those which are permissible if global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The alarm was raised by the Coal Gap report released by Climate Action Tracker, which highlights that goals of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 or 2 degrees are incompatible with current coal production levels.
Existing coal plants on their own will produce emissions 50% above “pathways” for limiting warming to 2 degrees between now and 2030. If plants in the pipeline are also taken into consideration emissions will be at least 400% above permissible levels over the next 15 years, and if more are planned total emissions will be even higher.
“There is only one solution to the problem of having too many coal plants on the books,” says Ecofys renewable energy researcher Pieter Van Breevoort, one of the report’s authors. “The only thing you can do is cancel them.”
The news comes after the United Kingdom announced last month it would phase out all coal plants within a decade. The last deep-pit coal mine in the country was shut down in December.
Still, the European Union and eight non-European countries — China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the Philippines and Turkey — are all planning to install at least 5 gigawatts of new coal capacity.
“If renewables take off as fast as is currently expected, many of these planned coal plants could be stranded investments,” said Markus Hagemann of the New Climate Institute. The report’s authors say they hope this goal will result in many — or perhaps most — of the planned plants being scrapped.
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Juggling growth goals and lifting its people out of poverty, India walks a tight rope between fuelling its needs with cheaper but harmful sources versus becoming a clean energy leader.
President Magufuli in unmovable in going ahead with the Stiegler’s Gorge dam despite conservationists’ warnings of the damage it will cause the Selous Game Reserve’s ecosystem and wildlife.
A large dam along the Luangwa River in Zambia would have posed a serious risk to local people and wildlife, leading hundreds of thousands to oppose it. A call to which the government responded by halting plans to build it.
The first one megawatt solar power plant in the Chernobyl exclusion zone has become operational. This is the first step in a renewable energy development project promoted by the Ukrainian government in the area.
Gas explosions are frequent in Nigeria, where safety standards are poor. In the latest incident, a gas tanker blast killed 35 people in Nasarawa state.
The largest tidal power plant in the world will be built in the Larantuka Straits. It will serve 100,000 people and help overcome some of the challenges of energy provision in Indonesia.
Robben Island’s solar energy micro-grid project will produce almost one million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, significantly reducing the cost and impact of buying diesel.