Global Energy Monitor (GEM)

Global Energy Monitor (GEM) Mind Map


In November 2023, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) highlighted that over 95% of coal plant construction began in China, signaling a significant trend in global energy infrastructure. GEM, as a key player in tracking and analyzing global energy trends, offers critical insights into the evolution of the energy landscape, emphasizing the ongoing significance of coal in global power generation.

Overview of Global Energy Monitor (GEM)

GEM is an American non-governmental organization founded in 2007 by writer and environmentalist Ted Nace. Initially named “Coalswarm” and affiliated with the Earth Island Institute, it expanded its scope in 2018 to include a broader range of energy infrastructures. Headquartered in San Francisco, GEM’s mission focuses on the research and analysis of both fossil fuel and renewable energy projects globally.

Purpose and Impact

  • Research and Analysis: GEM supports clean energy through extensive research and analysis of energy projects.
  • Users of GEM’s Data: GEM’s data serves a wide range of users, including governments, international agencies, commercial and nonprofit organizations, academics, universities, and media outlets. Notable users include IPCC, IEA, World Bank, and Greenpeace.
  • Online Platform: GEM.Wiki is the organization’s platform, housing datasets, maps, and profiles of specific energy projects. It’s recognized for enhancing transparency and accuracy in climate governance.

Trackers Maintained by GEM

  • Global Coal Plant Tracker: Documents global coal-fired power plants, including those existing, proposed, canceled, or retired.
  • Global Coal Mine Tracker: Focuses on coal mines and related projects worldwide.
  • Global Coal Project Finance Tracker: Surveys financial institutions funding coal power stations since 2010.
  • Other Trackers: Includes Global Gas Infrastructure Tracker, Global Oil and Gas Extraction Tracker, and trackers for steel plants, solar power, wind power, bioenergy, and geothermal power.

Recent News: China’s Dominance in Coal Plant Construction

As of 2023, China has taken a leading role in new coal plant construction, with over 95% of the capacity initiated globally. Despite some projects being shelved or canceled, 110 gigawatts of coal power capacity are under consideration in 32 countries outside China, involving 131 coal projects.

Key Points from the Recent News

  • Dominance of China: China’s significant role in global coal plant construction.
  • Global Trends: Despite cancellations, new coal projects continue to emerge.
  • Leading Countries Outside China: India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia lead in proposed coal capacity.
  • Shelved and Canceled Projects: 18.3 GW of coal capacity moved from proposed to shelved or canceled in the first nine months of 2023.
  • Regional Construction: Southeast Asia and South Asia, excluding China, have the highest capacity under construction.


Global Energy Monitor’s recent findings on China’s dominance in coal plant construction underline the complex realities of global energy transitions. While renewable energy sources gain traction, coal remains a significant part of the energy mix, especially in rapidly developing regions. GEM’s role in providing transparent and accurate data is crucial for understanding and navigating these dynamic energy landscapes.

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