China Approves Another 155 Coal Fired Power Plants This Year
By Paul Homewood
NY Times reports:
ONGXIANPO, China — Just outside the southwest border of Beijing, a new coal-fired power and heating plant is rising in Dongxianpo, a rural town in Hebei Province. Cement mixers roll onto the site. Cranes tower above a landscape of metal girders.
When finished, the plant, run by a company owned by the Beijing government, is expected to have a generating capacity of 700 megawatts of power, more than the total of similar plants in Ohio. But whether it will actually be used to its fullest is questionable, despite the investment of $580 million.
That is because the plant is scheduled to come online in three years amid a glut of coal-fired power plants — an astounding 155 planned projects received a permit this year alone, with total capacity equal to nearly 40 percent of operational coal power plants in the United States.
China’s economic slowdown and the government’s pledges to use more renewable and nuclear energy make some of the country’s existing plants and most or all of the 155 new ones unnecessary, according to interviews with officials and scholars, a review of public statistics and a report released Wednesday about the “coal power bubble” by Greenpeace East Asia. There are already too many plants, as shown by a steady decline in the plants’ average operating hours since 2013….
In the first nine months of this year, state-owned companies received preliminary or full approval to build the 155 coal power plants that have a total capacity of 123 gigawatts, the report said. That capacity is equal to 15 percent of China’s coal-fired power capacity at the end of 2014.