Global Energy Monitor

Architecture

Global Energy Monitor’s Global Gas Plant Tracker (GGPT) uses a two-level system for organizing information, consisting of both a database and wiki pages with further information. The database tracks individual gas plant units and includes information such as plant owner and parent company, plant status, plant type, and location. A wiki page for each power station is created within the GEM.wiki, and contains more detailed, footnoted information such as project history and public opposition. The database and wiki pages are updated bi-annually, in January and July.

Inclusion Criteria

The GGPT tracks all gas-fired power plants that generate electricity in any setting (i.e.: peaking and base load generation, captive industrial plants, and co-generation). It includes units with capacities of 50 megawatts (MW) or more (20 MW or more in the European Union and the United Kingdom). For combined cycle units, the capacity threshold is applied to the entire combined cycle set and not to the individual components. The tracker does not include plants running on recaptured/waste gas, gas boilers only generating district or industrial heat, plants running on only liquid fuels, or plants that rely on internal combustion engines. 

Status Categories

Proposed: A company or government has proposed a project.

Construction: Equipment installation has begun (not just clearing/roads).

Shelved: Two years have passed with no action on a project after the project proposal.

Cancelled: A cancellation announcement has been made, or no progress has been observed for at least four years.

Operating: The plant has been formally commissioned.

Mothballed: The plant is not in use (if no operation for more than 1 year) but not dismantled.

Retired: The plant has been dismantled; this term is also used if the plant has been destroyed by war.

Research Process

Gas plant data is collected from and validated through five main sources:

  • Government data on individual power plants, country energy and resource plans, and government websites tracking gas plant permits and applications;
  • Reports by state-owned and private power companies;
  • News and media reports;
  • Local non-governmental organizations tracking gas plants or permits; 
  • On-the-ground contacts who can provide first-hand information about a project or plant. 

Wiki Pages

For each power plant and proposal, a wiki page is created on Global Energy Monitor’s GEM.wiki. Wiki pages provide a repository for in-depth information including project background, financing, environmental impacts, public opposition, coordinates, and maps. Under standard wiki convention, all information is linked to a published reference, such as a news article, company or government report, or a regulatory permit. In order to ensure data integrity in the open-access wiki environment, Global Energy Monitor researchers review all edits of project wiki pages.

Mapping

To allow easy public access to the results, Global Energy Monitor worked with GreenInfo Network to develop a map-based and table-based interface using the Leaflet Open-Source JavaScript library. In the case of exact coordinates, locations have been visually determined using Google Maps, Google Earth, Planet Labs, or Wikimapia. For proposed projects, exact locations, if available, are from permit applications or other company documentation. If the location of a plant or proposal is not known, GEM identifies the most approximate location.