According to a recent report by Global Energy Monitor, global development of oil and gas-fired power capacity surged by 13% in the past year, driven primarily by China and Southeast Asian nations. This growth occurred despite the region experiencing price volatility and witnessing the decline in costs for renewable energy.
The Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker meticulously documents nearly 12,000 units of known oil and gas-fired power plants worldwide. It reveals that five countries – China, Brazil, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the United States – collectively account for nearly half of all capacity currently under development.
Asia dominates the global landscape with nearly two-thirds of the world’s oil and gas plant capacity in development. China alone hosts a significant portion, exceeding the combined capacity of the next three leading countries – Brazil, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
In the past year, construction commenced on a staggering 207 gigawatts of new oil and gas-fired power plants, marking a remarkable 23% increase compared to the previous year. This substantial growth is primarily concentrated in Asia, particularly within China.
While the rising prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have led some Asian nations, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, to reconsider LNG procurement, analysts have highlighted an important trend: the average cost of electricity generated from solar and wind sources is now lower than that of gas-fired power. This cost advantage is particularly pronounced in China, further emphasizing the shifting dynamics within the energy landscape.
Jenny Martos, Project Manager for the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker, said “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.”