Global Energy Monitor
  • Jenny Martos, Warda Ajaz, Gregor Clark, Norah Elmagraby, Harvey Hassan, Christine Juta, and Natalia Sidorovskaya-Fretz

Key points

  • Global oil- and gas-fired power plants in development — projects that have been announced or are in the pre-construction and construction phases — increased 13% last year to 783 gigawatts (GW)
  • Nearly two-thirds of this capacity and cost is in Asia, where 514 GW at an estimated US$385 billion are in development, mainly in China and Southeast Asia
  • If built, the existing global oil and gas fleet would grow by a third at an estimated cost of US$611 billion in capital expenditure

Driven by China and countries in Southeast Asia, global oil- and gas-fired capacity in development increased 13% last year, even as the region experienced volatile price swings and hosted some of the lowest costs for green electricity, finds a new report from Global Energy Monitor.

The Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker catalogs nearly 12,000 units of every known oil- and gas-fired power plant in the world and shows that five countries — China, Brazil, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the United States — make up almost half of all capacity in development.

Asia has nearly two-thirds of the world’s oil and gas plant capacity in development, with China hosting a fifth of the world’s in development capacity, more than the next three leading  countries — Brazil, Vietnam, and Bangladesh – combined.

Construction began on 207 gigawatts of new oil- and gas-fired power plants, a 23% increase over the previous year. Almost three-quarters of this capacity is in Asia, mainly concentrated in China.

While high LNG prices have pushed some countries in Asia, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, away from procuring LNG cargoes, analysts have also shown that the costs of electricity from solar and wind is on average below the cost of gas-fired power, and well below such cost in China.

Gas continues to grow even with its reputation unraveling as a cheaper, cleaner and reliable transition fuel. Price volatility has led many countries to turn their backs on gas plans. The severity of gas’ impact on the climate is better understood everyday because it leaks the potent greenhouse gas methane. And extreme weather events are causing fossil fuel power plants to fail. Still, the transition away from oil and gas is not happening anywhere near fast enough.

Jenny Martos, Project Manager for the Global Oil & Gas Plant Tracker at Global Energy Monitor

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