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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

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China Looks To Run Coal-Fired Power Plants At Full Capacity

  • China will help run its coal-fired power plants at full capacity in a bid to ensure energy security,.
  • A few months ago, China ordered a ramp-up of coal production, which hit record-highs for both December 2021 and the whole of 2021.
  • Greenpeace China: "China is losing time for crucial climate action,"

China will help run its coal-fired power plants at full capacity in a bid to ensure energy security, despite the climate goals of the world's largest polluter.

The Chinese government will support industrial sectors in "special difficulty," state news agency Xinhua reported this week, noting that "Food and energy security must be safeguarded."

The Chinese authorities will increase coal supply, and coal-fired power plants will be supported in running at full capacity and generating more electricity in order to meet the electricity needs for production and residential consumption, Xinhua reported, citing a decision made at the State Council's Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang earlier this week.  

"We are introducing the relief policies for industrial and services sectors in special difficulty first this year, as part of the effort to frontload policies as appropriate," Li was quoted as saying.

Commenting on the decision to support coal plants to run at full capacity, Li Shuo, a campaigner for Greenpeace China, told AFP:

"We are pivoting back to the model of supporting the economy at all costs."

"China is losing time for crucial climate action," the campaigner added.

China, the world's largest coal consumer and largest greenhouse gas emitter, has said it targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, but last autumn's power crisis and record-high global coal prices amid an overall energy shortage made energy security a top priority for the country.

A few months ago, China ordered a ramp-up of coal production, which hit record-highs for both December 2021 and the whole of 2021. China was looking to secure energy supply for the winter, cool the high coal prices, and avoid a repeat of the autumn 2021 power crisis. The energy crisis, which resulted in blackouts in September and October, slowed the growth of China's economy in the third quarter of 2021.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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