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China’s Thermal Power Output Still Rising

May 1, 2021

By Paul Homewood



While the West continues its rush to the cliff edge, China continues remorselessly to increase its fossil fuel power generation:





Naturally, there is a big increase this Q1 compared to last year, when China was on lockdown.

But the significant comparison is on the second graph, which shows a 6.6% in thermal power compared to 2019. This increase, which is nearly all coal power, accounts for three quarters of the total rise in power production, and is three times as much as the growth in wind/solar power.

There was the inevitable big rise in new wind/solar installations in Q4 2020, as a catch-up after lockdown. However Q1 levels are back down to levels much lower than previous years. Whereas 10.6 GW of new wind/solar capacity has been added in Q1, this has been matched by the same amount of new thermal capacity, which will of course be capable of producing much more electricity.





22 Comments leave one →
  1. Mewswithaview permalink
    May 1, 2021 1:05 pm

    Right now across the British Isles there is no wind and where I sit it is overcast.

    and in Ireland Wind Generation is 11 MW

    The 4% renewable is mostly hydro-electric.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 1, 2021 1:24 pm

      And you have to wonder on the make up of the import.

      • Mewswithaview permalink
        May 1, 2021 1:39 pm

        Seeing as the wind is not blowing much across the British Isles, its a fair assumption that it is mostly generated by natural gas.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        May 1, 2021 2:49 pm

        You can get a measure of the import quality from this site
        The import over the BritNed link is currently at 446g CO2 equivalent per kWh whilst domestic production is only 309g CO2 Equiv per kWh.
        And there is bugger all wind Europe wide and has effectively been becalmed since about the 11th April. Germany right now is getting 1.9GW from a capacity of 62.6GW of wind.
        So wind is demonstrably useless – I know lets build more of it! You really could not make it up.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        May 1, 2021 4:25 pm

        The BritNed link is still currently out of action (and in any event is only1GW when working, supplied directly by the MPP3 coal fired powerstation, so more like 900+ g CO2/ kWh), so the website is publishing garbage. IFA2 is also out of action.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        May 1, 2021 4:34 pm

        2GW of nuclear from Gravelines, France. Never sure how to evaluate the Begian contribution. We’re exporting 1GW to Ireland, probably mainly nuclear and gas.

  2. Gerry, England permalink
    May 1, 2021 1:26 pm

    I thought I would just run a price check on energy and there is no switch & save to be had. Electricity is £150 higher at best and gas £100 higher.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    May 1, 2021 1:54 pm

    “While the West continues its rush to the cliff edge, China continues remorselessly to increase its fossil fuel power generation:”

    The fossil fuel power that cannot be easily replaced by a rush to lower CO2 emissions is that of the travel industry. Renewables don’t move vehicles very far for very long. And the Chinese have captured most of the larger strategic mineral resources needed for PV-EV batteries. The West will be left holding the proverbial bag trying to fill it with carbon captured CO2 that will do nothing to the climate. An impossible net-zero goal.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 1, 2021 2:34 pm

    MO has published April 2021 mean CET. Cool, but not astonishingly so.

    Joint 32nd coldest with 8 other years (of 363 years), about 1.4C colder than average (cf 1961-90). April 2021 was 4C colder than April 2020, emphasizing the enormous inter-annual variation, dwarfing the claimed degree of climate change, and undermining the ‘nature struggling to cope with rapid change’ mantra.

    The weather is getting more extreme/unpredictable they say?

    Nope, wild yearly swings in a short time scale are entirely natural. A similar thing happened in the 1940’s. There was a cluster of very warm Aprils, mostly on a par with those we have experienced since the turn of the century, punctuated by a cool one. e.g. April 1941 was as cool as April 2021 and April 1943 was within a fraction of April 2020.

    UK wide they are claiming the lowest mean min. temperature since 1922. MO April summary here:-

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 1, 2021 8:20 pm

      MGN: Can you just imagine the headlines had the temp been 1.4 deg higher than average for the time of year (cf 1961-90)?

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 1, 2021 10:43 pm

        That alone doesn’t cause headlines – both February and March were that warm. These days, since the 80’s shift, it’s pretty common. Last winter with the exceptional warmth by day and night at times, there were some headlines, got in to +3C territory from memory.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 1, 2021 6:04 pm

    Give us your cash or we let the kids suffer.

    I’ve had a ‘genius’ idea, reallocate some of the cash squandered on ‘climate change’.

    Or maybe just halt recruitment for a year? The UN is currently advertising jobs totaling $17.7M in salaries!

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 1, 2021 8:53 pm

    Now, here’s a little story: My daughter’s F-i-L to be is a multi-property-owning (but lives the life of a working-class tight-ass) American living in Britain for the last 40-odd years but with US property and a strong attachment to his roots. He’s also a Democrat who hated Trump and thinks Biden is the answer to a prayer.

    We got to talking about the UK Gov’s changes in regs about log-burners and so on (he has oil-fired CH) and he showed that he hadn’t a real clue about the plans for the future of boilers and ASHP.

    What he had to say shocked me. He claimed that, really, all the problems of the West are that we have developed on the back of our industrial revolution and thus polluted the atmosphere to the extent that we are causing all the warming ‘we see about us’ – while – (WHILE!!! FFS) the Chinese, having pursued a predominantly agri-economy had not been at fault at what was now becoming a world crisis – because they hadn’t been through an industrial revoluiton like us. (!!!!!)

    When I pointed out to him that, firstly, CO2 was not a pollutant and that, secondly, the Chinese were among the biggest polluters on the planet he defended his position by questioning my beliefs: ‘So you don’t believe in this global warming, then?’.
    ‘Damn right I don’t! And you need to get some better sources of info!’.
    And there ended the discussion; not to be revisited.

    I really thought I was talking to the Manchurian Candidate. And to think, my daughter hangs on his every word…. Oh dear.

    This post about Chinese thermal power expansion would be the sort of education he heeds but it’s (he is) a lost cause.

    Thanks for indulging my dumping on you.

    • jmmcthompson permalink
      May 1, 2021 10:40 pm

      The speeches at your daughter’s wedding reception should be interesting

    • Tonyb permalink
      May 1, 2021 11:12 pm

      Presumably if we are at fault, other nations will not want to benefit from the numerous benefits arising from the industrial revolution?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 1, 2021 11:24 pm

      Harry, you just got schooled in one of the warped tenets of ‘climate justice’.

      Next time (if there is one) point out that if CO2 emissions are a genuine threat to the planet the last thing anyone would be concerned with would be letting the Chinese emit as much CO2 as they wanted until at least 2030 just in the interests of fairness!

      You might also like to point out that since 1750-2019 (source Statistica), cumulative emissions per country, China (220 BMt) has already trippled UK emissions (78BMt), and also greatly exceeded Russia and Germany. China is now second only to the USA (410BMt) and rapidly catching.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 2, 2021 5:29 pm

        Thanks, MGN, I shall save that for future ref. He.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      May 2, 2021 9:06 am

      The F-i-L lost my support by the end of the first paragraph. Anyone who admits being a Biden-supporting committed Democrat is beyond redemption!

      • dave permalink
        May 2, 2021 11:11 am

        Rasmussen Reports has a daily Presidential Tracking Poll of Likely U.S. Voters, and as of Friday this showed that 47% approve of President Biden’s record and 51% disapprove. The latest figures include 29% who strongly approve and 42% who strongly disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Rating of -13%.

        I imagine some who “strongly approve” mean that they are looking forward to the next stage of the ‘reset.’

        Historical Emissions:

        CO2 emissions from before 1960 have disappeared – sucked away into the vastness of the deep ocean. Never mind the thermo-haline recycling of the ocean, which takes centuries. We know, now, that the BIOLOGICAL recycling of a net carbon input, from the surface to the deeps, takes only 50 years.

  7. May 1, 2021 11:09 pm

    Tonight’s #channel4 #TheGreatGardenRevolution main item was
    ….the “#sustainable” gardening concept
    with the black expert making over the black family’s garden

    It would have been more credible if they hadn’t splashed out on loads of brand #new #tools with which to do it! #ThatsNotGreen

    Here’s that Channel4 garden expert
    “We need to de-colonise our thinking.”
    “podcast!!! Horticulturalist Poppy Okotcha, Black Geographers founder Francisca Rockey
    & Flight Free UK discuss privilege, climate justice & wanting to see your family abroad with the actual worry that your homeland will disappear into the ocean.”

  8. May 2, 2021 8:55 am

    China continues remorselessly to increase its fossil fuel power generation

    Why wouldn’t they? They can easily undercut Western production costs using the same thermal power the West now professes to hate.

  9. AC Osborn permalink
    May 2, 2021 9:40 am

    The problem with quoting %age increases is that a 100% increase of vey little is still very little.
    Add to that the fact that you only actually get about 30% output from the “very little” addition makes the comparisons even less worthwhile.

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