Europe Returns to Coal describes how the progressive western European countries such as Germany and Italy will be opening 50 new coal-powered generating plants in the next 5 years. These two countries still have bans on nuclear power, so they have few alternatives for on-demand energy other than the oldest fossil fuel of all, coal. To be fair to the Europeans, they will be advanced power plants with scrubbers and other technology. EU lawmaker calls for clean coal incentives, specifically for the coal plants to trap CO2 and store it underground. Does this sound like a good idea?
Coal is still the primary fuel for electrical generation world-wide and also the largest contributor of CO2 emissions. Supplies of coal fall short of demand, force up costs, tells that coal prices are climbing. (What isn't?) As a consequence, electricity rates in West Virginia and Kentucky are expected to rise about 15%, on top of rate increases last year. The coal mines in Australia are too efficient - the ports sometimes have ships queued 30 to 50 deep waiting to be loaded. World-wide, total electrical production from coal will continue rising from the present 49% for the foreseeable future.
The raging economy in the east, China, is placing unrealizable demands upon its electrical grid. China faces thermal coal supply challenge explains the country could face shortages of 10 GW this summer. (That doesn't sound like much, Doc Brown's DeLorean required 1.21 GW!) In the real world, a nuclear power plant is about 1 GW, so they will be short at least 10 nuclear power plants.
This could be an interesting time for engineering if the countries of the world maintain their environment-oriented policies. Just one thing. We have a global economy. In this flat world, you have to do what your competitor does.