THE BIG PICTURE: Global Coal-to-Gas Switching

The Global Energy Monitor (GEM), an organization dedicated to enhancing understanding of climate change data, in a recent report, estimated that about 89.6 GW (or 13%) of the 692 GW of global gas-fired capacity in development are coal-to-gas conversions or replacements. East Asia has the most coal-to-gas conversions or replacements in development (29.6 GW). By comparison, Europe has 19.7 GW of coal-to-gas projects in development, which is about 29% of the region’s 68 GW of gas-fired capacity in development. North America has 18.6 GW of coal-to-gas projects in development, representing about 44% of the region’s 42.6 GW of gas-fired capacity in development.

“While the fundamental move away from coal power over the last decade has been a positive development, the coal-to-gas shift poses a risk to global climate objectives,” the report warns. “At a time when it is overwhelmingly evident that gas is not a viable bridge fuel, switching coal projects to run on gas is antithetical to climate goals and makes no economic sense.” Sources: Global Energy Monitor ( Global Coal Tracker and Global Gas Tracker, accessed November 2022.

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—Copy and artwork by Sonal Patel, a POWER senior associate editor.



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