According to McCoy Power Reports, the leading primary fuel types for power projects (of at least 10 MWe) globally since 1950 are coal and natural gas. Since 1950 through 2013, McCoy has documented 4,540 GWe of power projects, 3,820 GWe of which have coal or natural gas as a primary fuel (Coal or Natural Gas Power Projects). Of the 41,907 power projects documented by McCoy since 1950 through 2013, 28,995 are either Coal or Natural Gas Power Projects. So, 69% of all projects and 84% of all capacity for power projects implemented between 1950 and 2013 were either Coal or Natural Gas Power Projects.

Natural Gas Power Projects have become the dominant form of power project and have been since 1975, but they have not always been. From 1950 through 1974, only 680 of the 4,258 power projects were Natural Gas Power Projects, or 16%. These Natural Gas Power Projects represented a slightly smaller portion of total capacity from this era, which was 14%. In 1975, things changed for Natural Gas Power Projects. From 1975 through 2013, Natural Gas Power Projects became the predominant form of power project with almost half (49%) of all power projects being Natural Gas Power Projects. However, the portion of capacity attributable to Natural Gas Power Projects implemented during this era was just 29%. Though there are myriad reasons for this, the primary one was how the gas turbine became very popular in smaller capacity ranges and industrial settings as a more flexible, convenient and adaptable choice, while simultaneously, coal became more adapted to massive baseload application.

The future looks very bright for Natural Gas Power Projects. Coal Power Projects have become enemy number one across the globe as it generates an outsized GHG footprint, and the shift to renewables requires a more flexible baseload technology. Enter Natural Gas Power Projects, which have become significantly more thermally efficient than Coal Power Projects. Furthermore, Natural Gas Power Projects can ramp up and down within 30 minutes, providing fast acting grid reinforcement, and the capacities of gas turbines are steadily rising. Given all this opportunity for Natural Gas Power Projects, how have they been faring in the marketplace? 2013 witnessed Natrual Gas Power Projects capture 34% of all power project capacity, the highest such share since 2001. Similarly, the share of projects attributable to Natural Gas Power Projects in 2013 was 57%, the highest share since 2002.