Over the years China has received much applause for its clean environmental speeches at climate change and environmental events. However, the data released by China Coal Transport and Distribution Association’s (CCTDA) shows that the coal used by coastal power plants at five major Chinese utilities hit 488,800 tonnes during the last week of March, more than double from a record low seen on February 10.
The Chinese government, despite making speeches about the road to have a clean environment, reportedly plans to add coal storage facilities in 2020 to ensure stockpiles at or above 15 days’ normal supply for coal-driven power plants.
In 2019, the country’s coal consumption was up by 1 per cent over the previous year, marking the third consecutive annual rise in coal use.
China is also permitting more domestic coal production, with as much as 141 million tonnes worth greenlighted from January to June of 2019, an increase of 2.6 per cent year on year.
It has also been reported that amid the claims of moving towards renewable energy, China is building new coal-fired power plants. It becomes pertinent to mention here that most coal-fired power plants have a lifetime of around 50 years.
“We expect coal to remain the primary source for [power production] baseload dispatch, given China’s cheap and plentiful coal reserves…Coal-fired generation’s reliability and large-scale make it well suited to meet the country’s power needs,” Jennifer Song, an analyst with Morningstar, a global financial services firm, was quoted as saying.
According to experts, the increased coal consumption, production and power development is opposite of the Paris Climate Accord goals, under which the non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Asia’s coal power generation must be reduced by at least 63 per cent by 2030 and totally by 2037.