Coal’s steady retreat from power generation gets underway
As people focus their attention on the quality of the air they breathe, and on the impact of climate change, China is seeing a surge in renewable power generation. As part of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), a total of 150 gigawatts of new coal capacity has been canceled or postponed until at least 2020.
Increasingly strict controls on total coal capacity and power plant emissions are expected to see the closure of older plants producing up to 20 gW, and spur technological upgrades to China’s remaining 1,000 gW of coal power, according to analysts. Although coal remains the country’s largest source of electricity, Coal’s share of power generation is expected to fall steadily to nearly 50 percent by 2040, as renewables and nuclear sources increase, according to the International Energy Agency. According to long-term energy outlook released by CNPC Research Institute of Economics and Technology on Aug 15, it said that by 2050, coal, nonfossil energy, and oil and gas will each comprise one-third of the country’s energy mix.