According to a report from “MEED” magazine, the global capacity of gas-operated power generation stations under construction, amounting to 134 gigawatts, matches the total capacity constructed worldwide in the past five years.
Despite concerns about the role of natural gas in climate and energy security, a new investigation reveals that hundreds of gigawatts of new gas-fired capacity are either under construction or planned globally, reports Al-Anba daily.
The report suggests that the decline in budgets for combating global carbon emissions and the geopolitical considerations following the Russia-Ukraine conflict have raised questions about the classification of gas as a “transitional fuel.”
The data, sourced from Global Data, indicates that 134 GW of gas-fired power generation facilities are currently being built globally, a figure close to the total gas-fired power capacity created globally in the last five years (153 GW).
The Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa regions have 67 GW, 18 GW, and 27 GW of gas-fired generation capacity under construction, respectively, which compares closely to the capacities built in these regions over the past five years.
Furthermore, there are plans for an additional 416 GW of gas-fired capacity globally, including permitted, financed, and announced plants, with over half located in the Asia-Pacific region. These figures deviate significantly from the International Energy Agency’s net-zero emissions scenario, which advocates reducing gas demand by about 20% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
Commenting on the findings, Lorne Stockman, research director at Oil Change International, emphasized the need to phase out oil, gas, and coal instead of building new gas-fired power plants. From an energy security perspective, gas-fired power plants may not make sense in regions depending on imported gas, as renewable energy sources offer economic viability and local reliability.
The report concludes that not all planned projects with a capacity of 416 GW of gas-fired power are likely to be implemented, and renewable energy sources are gaining economic viability. The closure of gas-fired power plants prematurely could result in consumers bearing the costs, especially if these plants miss decarbonization deadlines.