Posted May 06, 2019 14:30:46A large power station that was built in the early 2000s in the city of Shaanxi will be shut down by 2020.
Coal power has been an essential part of China’s energy mix since the late 1990s, and in 2016 China announced that it would phase out coal power by 2025.
The country’s two biggest coal power plants – one in Shaanzi and one in the province of Hebei – were expected to be completed in 2020, but China’s National Energy Administration said it would not be possible to complete the two plants as planned due to a lack of funds.
The two plants were supposed to generate about 10 per cent of China ‘s total electricity consumption, but that percentage has been slashed to about 5 per cent since 2016.
“We have to find ways to reduce the impact of coal on our climate, especially the impacts on the water resources and the air quality,” said Michael Smith, director of the Center for China Studies at the University of Southern California.
“Coal consumption has increased dramatically, and the costs are rising, and we don’t know how much longer we can continue to do this.”
China’s state-run China Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Shaanzei plant, which has been operating for nearly two decades, will close in 2020.
It is not clear when the plant will close, and its fate is being closely monitored by the government.
“The Shaan-Hbei coal power station will be officially closed by 2020, and there will be no coal power at the plant for about 10 years,” an official from the Shaansan coal power company told the state-owned Xinhua news agency.
“China has long been known for being an environmentally sensitive nation.
The country has invested a great deal of money in the development of coal-fired power plants and has a clear strategy to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
The Shaan power plant is the biggest one in China, but the country has been doing very little to increase coal usage.”
The Shaanshan coal power project has already lost about 4 million tonnes of coal annually.
China’s coal consumption has fallen in recent years as the economy grew and the country began moving away from reliance on imports and towards a diversified energy mix.
According to the World Bank, China consumed a record 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in 2017 that the world’s carbon dioxide emissions are expected to peak at 5.6 billion tonnes by 2030.
However, some countries, including the US, are planning to move away from coal-based energy sources.US President Donald Trump has proposed a new US policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which would allow the US to phase out all coal-burning power plants by 2026.
Mr Smith said that China’s coal-powered energy generation is not just a temporary problem, but one that is affecting the world.
“I think it is quite clear that the Chinese government is looking at a lot of things,” he said.
“They are making plans for a transition away from this kind of fossil fuel consumption and are trying to figure out a way to keep it going.”
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