Rapid urbanization is driving greater need for energy across emerging economies, with as many as 70 million people migrating to urban centers each year through 2020. Much of this global growth is being fueled by coal: one 500 megawatt coal plant comes online every three days.
The world’s major economies are turning to coal for cost, security and reliability. Japan is stepping up support for coal domestically and in emerging economies. Pakistan’s Prime Minister says the country is embracing coal, and India is emphasizing its “right to grow” through greater use of coal. The President of the World Bank indicates coal will be essential to helping Africa meet its demand for power and alleviate, in his words, “energy apartheid.” Multiple nations lead the world in economic growth using coal-fueled electricity.
The majority of this power is being developed as high-efficiency supercritical or ultra-supercritical generation that deliver very low emissions. Every large, advanced coal plant brings the equivalent carbon benefit of removing 1 million cars from the road, according to the International Energy Agency.
Use this interactive coal counter to see which countries are building new coal plants to satisfy major energy demand.