Originally posted in The Business Standard on 26 April 2022
- Bangladesh cancelled 10.8GW of coal projects in 2021
- Global coal plant capacity under development shrank 13% in 2021
- Steeper cuts needed to achieve climate goals
Even after ditching coal projects of 10.4 gigawatts (GW) capacity in 2021, ongoing projects would nearly quadruple the 1.8GW coal power capacity in Bangladesh, said the Global Energy Monitor.
Its eighth survey of coal plant pipeline said many projects in Bangladesh were abandoned, but not on the scale initially suggested by government announcements in 2020.
Instead, construction of new coal plants with a capacity of 2.6GW began in 2021, raising the number of plants under construction from four to six, for a total of 6.7GW. If completed, the plants would nearly quadruple the 1.8GW coal power capacity in Bangladesh.
Commenting on the survey report, Sharif Jamil, general secretary of the Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon and coordinator of Waterkeepers Bangladesh, said, “Bangladesh needs to reassess its electricity demand and stop construction and operation of any coal plants for the sake of its people, the environment, and its economy.”
The report titled “Boom and Bust Coal 2022” also found that after rising in 2020 for the first time since 2015, total coal power capacity under development around the globe declined by 13% last year, from 525GW to a record low at 457GW.
Thirty-four countries have new coal plants under consideration, down from 41 countries in January 2021.
China, South Korea, and Japan notably pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, but China continued to lead all countries in domestic development of new coal plants, commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the world combined.
“In Bangladesh, a combination of high coal prices and guaranteed purchase agreement are putting consumers and the Bangladesh Power Development Board in a tough situation,” said Flora Champenois of Global Energy Monitor.
“The false promise of coal being easy and cheap has turned out not to be true, and the country’s dependence on coal is becoming an increasing drag on its economy.”