More than 40 percent of world coal plants are unprofitable: report

More than 40 percent of the world’s coal plants are operating at a loss due to high fuel costs and that proportion could rise to nearly 75 percent by 2040, a report by environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker showed.

Institutional investors are increasingly divesting from fossil fuel companies due to the risk their assets will become stranded as tougher emissions cut targets discourage their use and renewable energy becomes even cheaper.

London-based Carbon Tracker analyzed the profitability of 6,685 coal plants around the world, representing 95 percent of operating capacity and 90 percent of capacity under construction.

It found that 42 percent of global coal capacity is already unprofitable. From 2019 onwards, it expects falling renewable energy costs, air pollution regulations and carbon pricing to result in further cost pressures and make around 72 percent of the fleet cashflow negative by 2040.

In addition, by 2030, new wind and solar will be cheaper than continuing to operate 96 percent of today’s existing and planned coal plants, the report said.

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