Global Energy Monitor

A key indicator of coal power capacity growth — new construction starts — looks set to decline outside of China for the second year in a row, according to new quarterly data from Global Energy Monitor (GEM).

As of October 2023, data in the Global Coal Plant Tracker show that construction starts for the year are under 2 GW, excluding China, well below the nearly 16 GW annual average for the same set of countries in the last eight years (2015 to 2022).

Key points from the Global Coal Power Tracker October 2023 supplemental data release include:

  • In the first nine months of 2023, 18.3 GW of coal capacity moved from being proposed (announced, pre-permit, permitted) to shelved given the lack of recent updates or cancelled.
  • This decrease in coal under consideration was tempered by 15.3 GW of entirely new proposals under consideration in India (8.6 GW), Indonesia (2.5 GW), Kazakhstan (4.1 GW), and Mongolia (0.05 GW), and 4.2 GW of previously shelved or cancelled capacity now considered proposed again.
  • 39 GW of additional coal capacity moved from being considered shelved to cancelled, up from 32 GW in all of 2022.
  • 110 GW of coal power capacity is still under consideration outside of China, with the top ten countries in terms of cumulative proposed coal making up 83%, led by India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.
  • More than 95 percent of the coal plant capacity starting construction this year was in China, with annual new construction starts there consistently rising since hitting a nine-year low in 2019.

As of the latest available data (July 2023), coal power capacity under construction outside China is highest in Southeast Asia and South Asia: India (31.6 GW), Indonesia (14.5 GW), Bangladesh (5.8 GW), and Vietnam (5.4 GW) make up 84% of the 67 GW under construction excluding China.

Flora Champenois, Project Manager for the Global Coal Power Tracker, said “Seeing new coal starts bottom out and the face-off between projects under consideration versus those that have been dropped is a welcomed dose of reality ahead of tough negotiations at COP28. Governments, utilities and banks all have a role to play in accelerating the global coal to clean energy transition, starting with an end to new coal projects.”


Flora Champenois, Research Analyst, Global Coal Plant Tracker

Email: [email protected]

About the Global Coal Plant Tracker

The Global Coal Plant Tracker provides information on coal-fired power units from around the world generating 30 megawatts and above. It catalogs every operating coal-fired generating unit, every new unit proposed since 2010, and every unit retired since 2000. The map and underlying data is updated bi-annually, around January and July. 

The Global Coal Plant Tracker supports the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown, which brings together data from several leading think tanks and research institutions to track the world’s remaining planned and existing coal plant units, as well other key metrics, as decision makers across governments and the private sector work together to accelerate the transition to a clean-energy future.