Energy Lab

Prospects for powering past coal

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JunepA (https://www.flickr.com/photos/junepa/26704713209)


Keeping global warming below 1.5°C requires rapid decline in the use of coal power. Members of the recently established Powering Past Coal Alliance committed to phase out unabated coal-fired generation, and the initiative has been hailed as an emerging “anti-fossil fuel norm”. Does this really mark a significant break with the historical trends and is this going to be a major contribution to the global coal phaseout? The presentation will provide an overview of the potential effect of the members’ pledges and a statistical analysis of factors that explain alliance membership. The results show that current PPCA members generally produce and use less coal, have older power plants, have more transparent and independent governments, and are wealthier. Most of these variables set them aside from the world’s biggest coal consumers.    

Vadim Vinichenko is a researcher at CET (University of Bergen) currently working on the Contractions project that deals with phaseout of fossil-fuel industries. His research interests include energy transitions, political economy of energy, patterns of technology diffusion, deployment of renewable energy, and phaseout of incumbent energy technologies. He holds master degree in experimental physics and a PhD in environmental sciences and policy.