Vietnam is scaling back a plan to build new coal plants, as financial restrictions and local environmental concerns increase the difficulty and complexity of constructing such facilities.
The National Steering Committee for Power Development has recommended eliminating about 15 gigawatts of planned new coal plants by 2025 due to slow progress and the unwillingness of some regions to develop them, according to state-controlled news website VietnamPlus. The central government will have final say on the plan.
The recommendation underscores how coal's status as the cheapest and easiest option for developing countries to bring power to their people is being challenged on multiple fronts as richer nations shy away from the fuel. Global banks are refusing to lend, making it more difficult and costly to build plants that burn the dirtiest fossil fuel, while costs are tumbling for competing renewable generation.