Coal PLTU power production in the world in 2021 will print a record of 10,350 TWh

The production of coal-fired steam power plants (PLTU) is expected to reach an all-time high this year at 10,350 terawatt hours (TWh), an increase of 9% compared to 2020. This comes from a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Coal 2021.

In its report, the IEA said the surge was driven by a rapid economic recovery, which is driving demand for electricity much faster than low-carbon power plants can produce.

“The sharp rise in natural gas prices has also increased the demand for energy from coal because it is cheaper,” said the IEA report on Wednesday (December 29th).

Global demand for coal, particularly for the steel, cement and power generation industries, is expected to grow 6% this year. The IEA report said that global coal demand “could hit new all-time highs in the next two years.

“Coal production is projected to hit an all-time high in 2022 due to high demand, and then demand will slow,” the IEA report said.

Meanwhile, based on the data Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) eleven G20 countries, including Indonesia, will build a coal-fired power plant with an output of 396 gigawatts (GW). Take a look at the following data box:

Despite the suspension of funding for coal projects abroad, China is still the country with the largest planned additional coal production capacity. China is aiming for an additional 247 GW capacity in the future.

India is the country with the second largest additional coal production capacity. The coal production capacity in the country is to be increased by 66 GW.

Indonesia is also one of the countries that plans to increase its coal generating capacity by 33 GW. This capacity is much larger than the 9.2 GW PLTU capacity, which is expected to be prematurely retired before 2030.

According to the records of BNEF, this additional coal-fired power plant with 396 GW corresponds to a quarter of the total existing coal production capacity worldwide.

A blow to global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said coal is the single largest source of global carbon emissions and coal-fired power will hit record highs this year, a sign that the world is renewing its efforts to reduce carbon emissions deviates.

“Without determined and immediate action by governments to tackle coal emissions in a way that is fair, affordable and safe for those affected, we will have little, if any, chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C,” said Birol.

Birol’s global warming reference refers to the groundbreaking 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to keep warming below 2 ° C, with a target of 1.5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels.

The challenge is enormous, and the United Nations has determined that 1.5 ° C is the upper limit to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Although coal remains an important source of electricity, coal has a significant impact on the environment, and the US Energy Information Administration lists a wide range of emissions from burning coal. These include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, fine dust and nitrogen oxides.

Elsewhere, Greenpeace describes coal as the dirtiest and most polluting way of generating energy, as coal releases more CO2 when burned than oil or gas.

“It’s a big problem with climate change. Coal also produces toxic elements like mercury and arsenic, as well as tiny soot particles that cause air pollution, “said the environmental group.

Discussions and debates about coal are often emotional, given its significant environmental footprint and the vast scope of the task of reducing the planet’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The IEA report comes a little over a month after the COP26 climate summit concludes in Glasgow, Scotland. The agreement made at COP26 aims to build on the Paris Agreement and prevent the worst effects of climate change

However, the phasing out of coal comes with several obstacles, including subsidies for fossil fuels and financial support for low-income countries.

India and China, the world’s two largest coal-consuming nations, insisted at the last minute on changing the fossil fuel language in the pact from a gradual coal phase-out to a “gradual decline”.

The IEA notes that global coal trends are in large part shaped by China and India, which account for two-thirds of global coal consumption, despite their efforts to increase renewable and other low-carbon energy sources. Take a look at the following data box: