China approves biggest expansion in new coal power plants since 2015

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Philip Bratby

When will Western leaders realise they have been hoodwinked by China?

 

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China approved the construction of another 106 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity last year, four times higher than a year earlier and the highest since 2015, research shows.

Over the year, 50GW of coal power capacity went into construction across the country – up by more than half compared with the previous year – driven by energy security considerations, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said on Monday.

“The speed at which projects progressed through permitting to construction in 2022 was extraordinary, with many projects sprouting up, gaining permits, obtaining financing and breaking ground apparently in a matter of months,” said GEM analyst Flora Champenois.

The amount of new capacity connected to the grid had slowed in recent years after a decline in new approvals over the 2017-2020 period, but it is set to rebound over the next few years, driven by concerns about power shortages.

Many of the newly approved projects were identified as “supporting” baseload capacity designed to ensure the stability of the power grid and minimise blackout risks, the CREA-GEM report said.

However, many were being built in regions that already had a clear capacity surplus, and power supply problems would be better addressed by improving grid reliability and efficiency, the authors said.

China suffered a wave of blackouts in September 2021 as a result of coal supply shortages, cutting off thousands of homes and factories. A long drought last year also saw a dramatic drop in hydropower generation and the rationing of electricity.

Beijing has been trying to rejuvenate its economy after growth and employment were hit badly by stringent zero-Covid measures last year, raising concerns that its low-carbon efforts would be sidelined.

However, renewable power capacity additions have remained at record levels, with solar installations at 87GW in 2022 and expected to rise further in 2023.

The country aims to bring its climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions to a peak by 2030, but it remains unclear what level they will reach.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/27/china-approves-biggest-expansion-in-new-coal-power-plants-since-2015-report-finds

 

At the end of 2021, China had 1296 GW of thermal capacity, nearly all of which is coal. In other words, these new projects will add an extra 8%. It is possible that some of the projects not yet put into construction may end up being cancelled, but even 50 GW already started will substantially increase coal power output.

A look at coal power capacity over the years shows just how steady the rise has been:

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https://chinaenergyportal.org/en/2021-electricity-other-energy-statistics-preliminary/

I do have to laugh at these “experts” who think they know better than the Chinese themselves!

For instance:

Many of the newly approved projects were identified as “supporting” baseload capacity designed to ensure the stability of the power grid and minimise blackout risks, the CREA-GEM report said.

However, many were being built in regions that already had a clear capacity surplus, and power supply problems would be better addressed by improving grid reliability and efficiency, the authors said.

And then there’s this gem:

Beijing has been trying to rejuvenate its economy after growth and employment were hit badly by stringent zero-Covid measures last year, raising concerns that its low-carbon efforts would be sidelined.

Translation – China would rather have economic growth than reducing emissions and the two things are not compatible.

The Guardian tries to reassure its gullible readers that solar power capacity continues to grow “at record rates”. They say 87 GW was added last year, but as solar only produces at about 12% of its nameplate capacity, the contribution from this additional tranche will be dwarfed by the new coal power coming on stream. In 2021, solar power only produced 4% of China’s electricity, and it is unlikely that this will change much over the next few years.

What is certain is that China is not going to ditch any of its modern coal power plants anytime soon, although obviously older, inefficient ones will gradually be phased out.

In the last ten years, China has added 587 GW to its thermal power base, virtually half of the total. And at the current rate, this figure could double by 2030.

China is committed to coal in the long term, regardless of what gullible western liberals may think.

via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

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February 27, 2023 at 04:24AM

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