Coal Power Generating Capacity 2022-2030

Coal-fired power generation is by far the largest source of electricity worldwide, albeit it is the largest greenhouse gas emitter too, both overall and on a TWh basis. Driven by global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the market share of coal generation has been declining, modestly, from over 40% 10 years ago to 35% in 2022.  However, it still remains the largest source of electric generation and is larger than all renewables combined (hydro, wind, solar, biogas, and other smaller sources) at 29% of the mix, natural gas at 23%, and nuclear at 10%.

Looking at coal power generation capacity, that is the maximum amount of power that can be generated, it grew 60% from 1300 GW in 2005 to 2100 GW in 2018. The pace of growth has slowed considerably since then increasing just 150 GW total over the past 4 years to 2250 GW. This slowdown is certainly attributable to growth in renewable power generation, and natural gas to a lessor extent, as most regions commit to the global climate change fight.

Currently, about 1/3 of operating global coal capacity has a defined phase out date while 2/3 is subject to carbon neutrality targets.  Unfortunately, as western industrialized countries reduce their use of coal in power generation, some regions, specifically China and India, continue to increase capacity such that they are partially offsetting global efforts to reduce the use of coal and associated carbon emissions.

In the last 20 years, China prioritized the development of coal-fired generation capacity, reaching over 1100 GW in 2022, to power the country’s economic growth and limit its dependence on energy imports. That being said, since 2010, China has also diversified its power mix by installing almost 1000 GW new hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind generating capacity. This makes China the world’s largest developer of renewable energy capacity worldwide.

Although India doesn’t have a lot of coal generation capacity in comparison to China, it does represent over 10% of the world total and has increased threefold since 2010 from about 70 GW to over 200 GW in 2022.

Looking ahead, Incorrys forecasts a slight increase in global coal generating capacity through 2030 of about 10% in total, from 2250 GW in 2022 to almost 2500 GW in 2030. Much of that growth is expected to occur by 2025 as many projects in China are currently under construction.

In 2030, China and India will be account for almost 70% of total coal generation capacity, up from 60% in 2022. The U.S. is on track to close half of its coal-fired generation capacity by 2026, just 15 years after its 2011 peak. Roughly 40%, about 80 GW, of remaining U.S. coal-fired capacity is set to close shortly after 2030. India is expected to increase capacity over 30% over the forecast period from 211 GW in Y2022 to 300 GW by 2030. No declines are expected before 2030. The US will only have about 116 GW of capacity in 2030 (5%).

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