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China’s Thermal Power Continued To Increase Last Year Despite COVID

January 25, 2021

By Paul Homewood



Despite economic slowdown, thermal power production (virtually all coal) continued to increase last year, rising by 2.5%, according to the provisional figures from the China Portal.

As in previous years, this exceeded the increase in wind/solar power:





Thermal output continues to dominate the mix with 68%. The contribution from wind/solar remains tiny at 9%:


More significant for the long run is that thermal capacity rose again last year by 4.7%.While the rise in renewable capacity was greater, the latter’s intermittency will mean that actual generation will be less than thermal.




It seems inevitable that once economic growth resumes its pre-COVID rates, demand for power will rise back to previous levels of 5%. As wind, solar and nuclear are already maximised on the system, this extra can only come from thermal, which will start to rise much faster again.

Meanwhile, for good measure, coal and gas production rose by 0.9% and 9.8% last year:





All data is from the China Portal:

  1. January 25, 2021 3:39 pm

    This won’t be reported by the BBC, especially with COP26 coming up.

  2. tomo permalink
    January 25, 2021 3:48 pm

    Keep an eye on China SMR nukes – some of their recent coal plants are designed to substitute a nuke on the hot end…

  3. markl permalink
    January 25, 2021 4:13 pm

    Why not? China has allowed itself to increase CO2 output to at least 2030 and maybe beyond according to its’ Paris Discord NDC. MSM hasn’t touched that fact, even when brought up by America’s new administration/Biden. They can claim to be the only country meeting their NDC.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    January 25, 2021 8:39 pm

    Remember all the Chinese investment in wind turbines the greenies shouted about from the rooftops?

    Oh dear:

    Power plant productivity (full load hours; 6 MW+ power plant avg.)

    Wind power hours year-on-year fell, despite technical & reliability advances of more-modern kit:
    2019 = 2,083,
    2020 = 2,073

  5. Peter permalink
    January 26, 2021 7:43 am

    And that is just a look at the electricity mix. If you start looking at the entire energy mix, it will look even worse. Steel mills, cars, air planes, … still need some fossil fuel to keep them going.

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