How Did Urgewald Identify the Companies Behind New Coal Power Plants?

The aim of Urgewald’s database is to expose the companies responsible for the largest and the most aggressive expansion in the coal power sector. The database shows coal data on 120 coal companies. These 120 companies, are behind 2/3 of global coal power expansion worldwide. Most new coal plants are planned to be built in Asia. However, our database shows that coal power expansion is not only an Asian problem, it is a global problem.

The database shows three categories of companies:
1. The first category includes all companies that are planning to build more than 3000MW of new coal power capacity. Overall, there are 56 companies in the world that plan to build more than 3000MW of new coal capacity.

2. The second category includes companies planning to build coal plants in countries that have a lot of coal plants already. These countries emit a lot of CO2 and should put all their efforts into transitioning to renewable energies immediately.

3. The third category includes companies planning to build coal plants in countries that do not have any coal power. Countries that do not have any coal plants yet should not start to build any coal plants now. New coal plants have to run for 40 years or longer to be profitable. This pressure to be profitable creates destructive coal dependencies.

How did we collect the information?

CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Plant Tracker database was our point of departure. This database lists all coal power stations in planning worldwide. Urgewald used this data to reveal which companies are behind these destructive coal plants. In cases where a consortium of companies is planning to build a coal plant, we divided the planned coal capacity between the involved companies according to their ownership of the project. Where no information on ownership was available, we divided the planned capacity by the number of companies involved in the project. Urgewald's coal plant developers’ database does not cover contractors or equipment suppliers.

After identifying the companies, Urgewald compiled all available coal data about them. We used data taken from the companies’ own reporting. This included companies’ websites, annual reports and investor presentations. In cases where no English information was available, we worked with researchers in the respective countries to gather the material needed. In some cases, companies did not provide enough information to calculate the coal share of revenue. In these cases, we estimated a coal share of revenue and indicated this in the database.


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