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China Coal Output Hits Highest In 3 Years

January 23, 2019

By Paul Homewood


China showing its “climate leadership”!

From Reuters:



BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s December coal output climbed 2.1 percent from the year before, government data showed, hitting the highest level in over three years as major miners ramped up production amid robust winter demand and after the country started up new mines.

Cranes unload coal from a cargo ship at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China December 8, 2018. Picture taken December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Miners produced 320.38 million tonnes of coal in December, according to data released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics. That is the largest volume since June, 2015.

China approved more than 45 billion yuan’s ($6.64 billion)worth of new coal mining projects last year, much more than 2017, official documents show.

That came after the country closed old and more-polluting coal mines as part of its battle to clean up the environment.

“Coal mining capacity coming online will lead to another increase in output this year after boosting December output to a more than three-year high,” said a Beijing-based coal analyst with a major broker. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised by his company to speak to media on the matter.

The new projects stoked overall coal output last year, with annual production rising 5.2 percent to the highest since 2015 at 3.55 billion tonnes.


Meanwhile electricity generation also grew last year, by 8.5% according to provisional data:




Most of that increase will have come from thermal generation, if Q3 YTD figures are anything to go by:

  1. Robert Fairless permalink
    January 23, 2019 4:19 pm

    Coal was the means by which the industrial revolution happened and thus the population’s escape from abject poverty. It is the cheapest form of energy to produce electricity and will remain so for many years. You cannot blame China from wanting to remove many millions from poverty which would not happen if they covered all of China with wind turbines or similar nonsense.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    January 23, 2019 4:21 pm

    Yesterday’s pragmatic news from Germany:

    Germany needs to retain half of its coal-fired power generation capacity until 2030 to offset the closure of all its nuclear reactors by 2021/22, economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier said Tuesday.

    • Velcro permalink
      January 23, 2019 6:57 pm

      And then in 2030 Germany will announce it has to keep coal fired power until 2050

  3. January 23, 2019 4:38 pm

    Perhaps the government will see sense and replace Drax biomass burning to coal, reduce the pollution and save the CO2 emitted transporting the biomass across the Atlantic?

    • Geoffb permalink
      January 23, 2019 4:51 pm

      and Chris Huhne may fly……

    • Robert Fairless permalink
      January 23, 2019 6:23 pm

      The Uk Government is unlikely to change because it has just spent many millions converting Drax from coal to biomas. Ninety per cent of the biomas is wood pellets obtained by destroying millions of Acres of forest in North America. To process the timber they spent many more millions to built three factories to convert trees to pellets which has to be transported across the Atlantic in large ships before being burned at Drax. They are of course burning carbon which is about a quarter less efficient than coal. They have a bundle of false science in an attempt to justify this mad policy.
      Sadly, the UK no longer has a coal industry and coal is now banned in power stations although there are huge coal reserves underground and offshore.

      • Mack permalink
        January 23, 2019 8:24 pm

        If the gatekeepers of Drax just looked under their feet they’d find plenty of trees. They’re just several hundred million years old now and take the form of coal. And mining and burning the stuff emits a damn sight less CO2 than harvesting and transporting recently felled American trees converted to pellets to a power station sitting atop one of the formerly most productive coal fields in the UK. Bonkers!

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 23, 2019 5:41 pm

    The USA is steadily increasing its coal exports as it reduces internal use of coal. It is building new export hubs etc.

    Which country has the maddest and most damaging “energy policy” in the world…….. … prizes!

    • January 24, 2019 2:22 pm

      Countries rich in coal generally have tight gas formations as well. The UK has finally started to develop them via hydraulic fracturing. If that succeeds, and I think it will, You’ll find that coal can’t compete with cheap natural gas, nor can wind, nor can nuclear, and especially nor can solar in a cloudy country as far north as the UK.

  5. markl permalink
    January 24, 2019 3:39 am

    Once again reality gives way to fantasy. People want energy to exist and progress and affordability is extremely important. China speaks with forked tongue when it comes to AGW.

  6. Alaskan Sea permalink
    January 24, 2019 8:20 am

    A bit off topic. I just had a look on Gridwatch templar website, wind power running at less than 1% (0.94%).

    • Rowland P permalink
      January 24, 2019 8:57 am

      Even less now at 0.69% of demand!!

      • Alaskan Sea permalink
        January 24, 2019 9:40 am

        And now 0.63%!

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