Chinese overseas media outlets reported on September 5th that drought and power shortages have led to China’s aggressive development of coal power, which is limited by its high carbon emissions.
According to the China Electricity Report, in the first quarter of this year, coal-fired power generation accounted for nearly 63% of total electricity generation.
Citing data from the China Electricity Council, in the first half of this year, investment in thermal power reached 34.7 billion yuan (about $5.03 billion), an increase of 71.8% compared with the same period last year.
On August 27th, the Chinese regime asked provinces to expedite the approval of new power generation projects, mainly nuclear and coal power plants.
However, compared to nuclear power, with a cycle at least several times longer (at least 10 years from design), the construction cycle of coal power is relatively short, usually only one and a half years for a 600MW unit.
The International Energy Transition Association (ISETS) and the non-profit independent environmental energy consultancy Ember released a report in May of this year.
The report said China’s national carbon market officially started operating in July last year. The market includes coal power in emissions control, but its impact is limited.
Loose allocation of carbon allowances may even allow some coal-fired power companies to profit by selling excess allowances.
The carbon price per kilowatt-hour of coal power is 0.03 yuan, 8% lower than the on-grid electricity price.
According to a report by Beijing Capital Securities, in the face of the global energy shortage situation, coal-fired power development is still China’s best option to solve the current electricity shortage problem.
However, technologies to reduce carbon emissions are challenging to achieve in the short term.
Last month, China also suspended consultations with the United States on climate change, saying that carbon capture, use, and storage (CCS) technologies can reduce carbon emissions.