China to persist with the coal route to power

Coal-fired power will continue to be the mainstay of China’s electricity supply despite expectations that the country will gradually move away from coal, according to the China Daily.

The daily said that although the government said it would cap China’s use of coal at 4.2 billion tons by 2020, China’s energy strategy for 2014 to 2020 shows that coal will be the main source of energy for years. The government also said it would step up research into cleaner coal technologies.

The newspaper quoted Benjamin Sporton, chief executive officer of the London-based World Coal Association as saying that Beijing’s approach was in many ways a roadmap for other countries looking to reconcile the use of coal with a desire to increase the use of renewable energy.

China plans to increase the share of non-fossil energy in its primary energy consumption to 20 percent by 2030. Sporton said this was an ambitious target, but it meant that by 2030 China would get 80 percent of its energy from coal, oil and gas.

China’s investment in promoting non-fossil fuels and developing low-carbon technologies is likely to exceed 40 trillion yuan (US$6.2 trillion) between 2015 and 2030, according to the Beijing-based National Center for Climate Strategy and International Co-operation, a Chinese government think tank.

The newspaper quoted Ding Rijia, professor at the China University of Mining and Technology in Beijing, as saying coal-fired power plants were not the major cause of pollution, but industrial boilers and small inefficient coal-fired boilers were mainly to blame for carbon emissions. The newspaper quoted Ding as saying such boilers caused more pollution than coal-fired power plants even though they used 70 percent as much coal.



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