World coal-fired power plant capacity will grow from 1,759,000 MW in 2010 to 2,384,000 MW in 2020, according to a report by McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). McIlvaine predicts approximately 80,000 MW of this capacity will be replaced, with 705,000 MW of new coal-fired boilers to be built. Annual new boiler sales are expected to average 70,000 MW, at a rate of $140 billion per year.

Coal-fired power in Asia is expected to rise to 1,464,000 MW in 2020, up from 918,000 MW in 2009. This will account for an increase in CO2 of 2.6 billion tons. So even if the United States and Europe were to cut CO2 emissions by far more than the targeted 20 percent, the total CO2 increase from Asia will offset it by a wide margin, according to McIlvaine.

Coal-fired power in India is expected to rise from 95,000 MW to 294,000 MW over the next 11 years. This accounts for the largest percentage rise (300%) plus the biggest quantitative rise (199,000 MW).

Coal-fired Power Plant Installed Capacity and CO2 Emissions
(Millions of tons)

Region

2010

2015

2020

China MW x 1000

709

827

917

China CO2 (millions of tons)

3416

3969

4401

U.S MW x 1000

332

353

377

U.S. CO2 (millions of tons)

1600

1694

1808

U.S. CO2 % of world

19

17

16

World MW x 1000

1759

2120

2384

World CO2 (millions of tons)

8443

10176

11443

Source: McIlvaine Company

The United States presently operates coal-fired power plants at a much lower efficiency than those in Europe, according to McIlvaine. And while many of the new Chinese coal power plants are highly efficient, McIlvaine says these efficiencies have been more than offset by capacity increases, as China’s coal capacity currently stands at 200 percent of U.S. capacity. Its CO2 emissions also far exceed those from U.S. power plants, as coal is still burned in residential and commercial boilers in China.


Since China and India have significant coal resources, and other Asian countries have access to supplies from Australia and other nearby sources, the cost of coal-fired power will remain low compared to alternative energy forms in Asia in the near-term, according to McIlvaine. And since planning of new coal-fired power plants occurs as much as a decade in advance, McIlvaine predicts its forecast for coal-fired power will not change significantly prior to 2020, with the impact of alternative energy in Asia only to be seen thereafter.

For more information on McIlvaine’s World Power Generation Projects report, visit www.mcilvainecompany.com/brochures/energy.html#40a.

For more information on McIlvaine’s Chinese Utility Plans report www.mcilvainecompany.com/brochures/energy.html

For more information on McIlvaine’s Coal-fired Boilers: World Analysis and Forecast report, visit www.mcilvainecompany.com/brochures/energy.html#n043.