Bangladesh ranks first in South Asia in terms of gas expansion, with approximately 41 gigawatts (GW) in development, more than double its current operating capacity, according to a new Global Energy Monitor (GEM) report.
However, the majority of the planned gas buildout will rely on imported LNG as the country's gas reserves are drying up, said the report, titled "Gas Glut 2023: Global Gas Power Continues to Thwart Energy Transition", published on Thursday.
"The country is struggling with power outages due to fuel shortages, which could result in rolling blackouts until 2026," it said, mentioning that gas currently accounts for 55% of electricity production in Bangladesh, with about a quarter of the gas imported.
The report revealed how global oil- and gas-fired power plants in development — projects that have been announced or are in the pre-construction and construction phases — increased 13% in the last year to 783GW.
Nearly two-thirds of this capacity and cost is in Asia, where 514GW at an estimated $385 billion are in development, mainly in China and Southeast Asia.
If built, the existing global oil and gas fleet would grow by a third at an estimated cost of $611 billion in capital expenditure, GEM said.
Driven by China and countries in Southeast Asia, global oil- and gas-fired capacity in development increased 13% last year, even as the region experienced volatile price swings and hosted some of the lowest costs for green electricity, finds a new report from GEM.
The Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker catalogues nearly 12,000 units of every known oil- and gas-fired power plant in the world and shows that five countries — China, Brazil, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the United States — make up almost half of all capacity in development.
Asia has nearly two-thirds of the world's oil and gas plant capacity in development, with China hosting a fifth of the world's in development capacity, more than the next three leading countries — Brazil, Vietnam, and Bangladesh – combined.
The construction of new oil- and gas-fired power plants already began to generate 207GW, a 23% increase over the previous year. Almost three-quarters of this capacity is in Asia, mainly concentrated in China.
While high LNG prices have pushed some countries in Asia, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, away from procuring LNG cargoes, analysts have also shown that the costs of electricity from solar and wind is on average below the cost of gas-fired power, and well below such cost in China, the report said.
Jenny Martos, project manager for the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker, said gas continues to grow even with its reputation unravelling as a cheaper, cleaner and reliable transition fuel.
However, price volatility has led many countries to turn their backs on gas plans, Jenny Martos said.
"The severity of gas' impact on the climate is better understood every day because it leaks the potent greenhouse gas methane. And extreme weather events are causing fossil fuel power plants to fail. Still, the transition away from oil and gas is not happening anywhere near fast enough," the energy expert said.
GEM is a US-based organisation that develops and shares information in support of the worldwide movement for clean energy.