According to the new world investment report from the International Energy Agency, Final Investment Decisions (FID) for coal plants have dropped 75 percent over the past three years, british newspaper The Independent reports. And while power plants using coal still fuel 38 percent of electricity around the globe, the new study suggests that this number is on the decline.
236 gigawatts of coal plans are currently being constructed around the world. In 2015, FIDs contributed 88 gigawatts for construction, but in 2018, this number dropped to 22 gigawatts.
Moreover, the 30 gigawatts of generators retired in 2018 meant that there was a net decrease in the use of coal energy around the entire world last year. This finding is unique for the entire world since the industrial revolution, preliminary estimates show, and when the number of FIDs reaches zero, the coal industry will fade out precipitously.
“It appears that banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, utilities and other operators in advanced economies are exiting the coal business,” the IEA noted last year.
Even without policies that explicitly restrict investment into coal, investors are redirecting their resources away from the fossil fuel industry out of financial concerns.