wind turbines on hill overlooking water

Report | 2024

Coal-to-Clean Success Stories

Scalable innovations from promising coal-to-clean transitions around the globe

By Shravan Bhat,  Lila Holzman,  Dhroovaa Khannan,  David Lone,  Iliad Lubis, Tyeler Matsuo
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Even as there are promising shifts toward cleaner sources of electricity production in much of the world, 73 percent of the global power sector’s pollution still came from coal-fired power in 2021. There are several hurdles to shifting these sources to cleaner options. However, we have seen instances of relatively rapid, managed, and just coal-to-clean asset transitions in diverse geographies. We’ve identified three such examples in the case studies below.

  • In Chile, a strong mandate from the government attracted international capital that enabled the early retirement of Tocopilla coal units 14 and 15, avoiding hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon emissions and financing new wind generation.
  • In New Jersey, Atlantic City Electric (ACE) agreed to terminate a 30-year power purchase agreement 30 months early, which resulted in both millions of dollars in savings for ACE customers and 3.9 million tons of avoided CO2
  • In the Philippines, an energy company shifted course to invest in renewable energy and shorten the operational life of the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation coal plant by 25 years. It did this in response to both investor pressure and to meet a corporate mandate for 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

The details of these transactions are inspiring, and the technologies and financial mechanisms can be applied to other contexts. The next step is for lead stakeholders to learn from these promising pilots and scale these types of transactions across markets. These are just the beginning; where they end is only limited by the will to engage.

RMI is grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their generous support of this work.

Read the case studies below or fill out the download form to read at your convenience.

Tocopilla Units 14 and 15 — Results-Based Loan Incentive
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Logan and Chambers — Renegotiate, Refinance, Redevelop
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ACEN — Project Sale to Special Purpose Vehicle
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