Energy - AUGUST 4, 2022

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Energy transition: Thermal coal will remain important in Asia Pacific

by Andrea Zander

The share of coal in power generation is set to fall in the United States and Europe, while a different trajectory is occurring in Asia Pacific, according to a report by S&P Global.

At the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November 2021, China and India were the two major holdouts on coal, agreeing only to phase down rather than phase out this fossil fuel. In China, for instance, coal-fired generation will remain relatively flat and elevated this decade, although its share is set to reduce to 51 percent of power generation by 2030 from two-thirds today, with faster growth in renewables. In India, coal-fired generation will still expand substantially this decade to meet soaring demand. This is despite more than 40 countries pledging to phase out coal at COP 26.

Asia's fairly new coal-fired generation fleet is another reason for its reluctance to turn away from coal. The average age of a coal plant in the United States and Europe is between 40 years and

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