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Over 40 percent of world-wide coal plants are active at a loss, says study

Photo: J. David Ake (AP) As Donald Trump's administration continues to try to get coal to happen even though it…

Photo: J. David Ake (AP)

As Donald Trump’s administration continues to try to get coal to happen even though it is becoming more expensive and a serious environmental tax, a new report claims that more than 40 percent of the world’s coal power plants actually with loss. It is a figure that will only climb with increased regulation and carbon pricing as well as increasingly cheaper renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar energy.

Carbon Tracker, the London-based thought behind the study, found moving away from coal as a power source is not only a smart move to mitigate climate change, but also one that is economically healthy. According to its surveys, 42 percent of world plants are not profitable as a result of steep fuel costs, and that figure can reach more than 70 percent by 2040. New renewable energy sources, they predicted, will be “cheaper than continuing to operate 96 percent of today’s existing and planned coal plants. “

” Our analysis shows a minimum cost system without carbon should be seen as an economic inevitability rather than pure and green niche, “said Sebastian Ljungwaldh, energy engineer for Carbon Tracker and co-author, in a statement.

Photo: Lukas Schulze (Getty)

In order to reach these figures, Carbon Tracker utilized advanced machine learning and satellite images to assess the activity and profitability of 6,685 coal plants worldwide, a figure representing 95 percent of the total operating capacity and 90 percent of capacity under construction. Carbon Tracker said that it specifically investigated areas such as China, which are dependent on fossil fuels, but have small or even conflicting data about these plants, and noted that “for asset level inventory data, it has to be translated into economic and financial results. “

In addition, Carbon Tracker said consumers put up the bill to keep non-viable coal plants alive. According to the survey, removal from coal can potentially save taxpayers’ billions.

“The story quickly changes from how much do we invest in new carbon capacity to how do we close existing capacity such as losses [minimizes],” Matt Gray, Carbon Tracker, Chief of Power and Tools, and co-author of the report, said in A statement.

We have long known that coal is a dying and more expensive industry. But by breaking the figures, Carbon Tracker has presented a convincing economic argument for the expansion of coal plants.

The report was presented to COP24, a major UN conference on climate change taking place in Katowice this week (which is worth noting also happens to be at the heart of Poland’s coal region). Washington Post noted that coal is expected to be a primary pretext point because more than 200 countries are convened to handle climate change.

As if the climatic crisis is not enough to kick coal to the edge, saving billions certainly makes a convincing case.

[Carbon Tracker]

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Faela