Coal Plants Toppling in China
May 2, 2014
Question is, are they just removing the most visible installations, and moving the coal generation to rural areas?
China added nearly 40 per cent less coal- and gas-fired power capacity in the first quarter than it did a year ago mainly due to stronger pollution controls and slower economic growth, a senior government advisor said on Wednesday.
China, the biggest global emitter of gases that cause climate change and plagued by air quality that causes half a million deaths a year, consumes nearly half the world’s coal.
But recent data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that newly installed coal and gas power capacity in China fell 38.9 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a sign that the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix are slowly coming down.
New renewable energy and nuclear capacity grew in the same period. Since the beginning of last year, non-fossil fuels have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new power capacity.
“The reduction in coal-fired capacity is due to the economic slowdown,” Li Junfeng, director general at government think-tank the National Center of Climate Change Strategy, told Reuters.
“But the reduction is also a result of the crackdown on air pollution,” Li told Reuters.