The number of coal fired power plants are on a steady decline world over. It is reported that their number has fallen by nearly two-thirds last year. This has prompted campaigners to claim the polluting fossil fuel is in free-fall.
This drastic decrease in new coal-fired units is being attributed to the move towards cleaner energy in China and India. China is turning its back on coal-fired power plants to clean up air pollution, curtailing planned new units and encouraging cleaner energy. In India, too, there is a falling demand for coal power owing to the high pollution problems.
A report by Greenpeace, the US-based Sierra Club and research network CoalSwarm, said the amount of new capacity starting construction was down 62% in 2016 on the year before, and work was frozen at more than a hundred sites in China and India. One of the reasons for the fall in new plants was that too much capacity had been built in recent years, particularly in China.