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China Still Burning More & More Coal

November 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood



While western leaders are in a state of hysteria over global warming, China just keeps on burning more and more coal:


Latest data for Q3 shows that thermal power generation (nearly all coal) has increased by 6.7% pa since 2019, based on January to September figures:


Thermal power so far this year is up 11% on last year. Total generation since 2019 has risen by 7.1%, and thermal has accounted for two thirds of that.

Wind and solar are up 17.5% and 9.3% over the two year period, but these are increases from what were already tiny figures. Even now, they still only supply 9% of China’s electricity.

Moreover, increasing renewable capacity cannot keep up with rising demand. In the last two years, they have only met 20% of the extra power needed.

If that was not bad enough, new capacity additions for wind and solar this year show no sign of taking off. Indeed, it would appear that new solar power coming online this year will be less than any year since 2015.

We keep being told that solar power is now much cheaper than coal power, but obviously China does not think so.




President Xi may make all sorts of promises about peaking emissions, reducing carbon intensity and carbon neutrality in 2060. The harsh reality, however, is that without fossil fuels, China would now be back in the Dark Ages.

If Xi does not appreciate this, there are many on his Politburo who do and they will quickly send him off to the re-education camps if he stands in their way.

  1. Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
    November 2, 2021 7:38 pm

    It is impossible to criticise XI on this issue since he is acting in the best interest of China’s economy and therefore its people, the total opposite of Boris. I am sure Boris knows this but he simply does not care, he has other ways of keeping warm.

    • Nicholas Lewis permalink
      November 2, 2021 9:04 pm

      BoJo will soon row back on all these commitments he just wants to showcase himself as the worlds saviour nothing more nothing less. Xi is the same and reality is China would implode and wreak havoc on the worlds economy if it falls over now all countries are over dependant on them now.

  2. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 2, 2021 7:38 pm

    Coal is relatively cheap and plentiful. Of course politicians do not want anyone having access to it.
    It becomes more about control by the day.

  3. November 2, 2021 7:51 pm

    It just proves that COP26 is a bigger waste of our money than you would think possible. We are governed by absolute idiots (you only have to listen to Bozo and Alok Sharma today to realise how bad the government is). Bozo now says we cannot have a referendum on Net Zero. He knows how the vote would turn out if we were told the true cost.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 2, 2021 9:00 pm

      Phillip, I tend to the explanation that we are not ruled by idiots. Fools and mountebanks, maybe, but they are not idiots. There are two types (who, one day, we hope, will annihilate each other), those who want to get rich, and those who want to rule – in their own homage to Pol Pot, Kim or Mao.
      When I read that FJB has set aside $2.5B to fund a Climate Change Corps (he can’t call them Police: CCP – for obvious reasons) I really worry that the so-called ‘Climate Emergency’ is really going to end in a Climate War.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        November 2, 2021 9:12 pm

        BTW: You are quite right about Sharma. If ever there was a placeman he is it. Weĺl out of his depth.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    November 2, 2021 8:16 pm

    “While western leaders are in a state of hysteria over global warming, China just keeps on burning more and more coal.”

    Western leaders are hysterical while burning more biofuels flying and out of Glasgow hoping that China will go along in the trying to reach an economic “black hole”…Net-zero emissions by 2050.

  5. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    November 2, 2021 8:49 pm

    This whole “coal” conversation Fails . . . We have the technology to remove 97% of the effluent from these Coal Burning facilities. As clean as Natural Gas.

    Scrubbers in the smokestacks. Electrostatic precipitators that remove 99% of solid particles from the flue gases. Special burners to remove Nitrogen Oxide.

    A “Titan Pro-Ash facility” can recycle water from the scrubbers and make synthetic gypsum board (drywall) and eliminate the need for a tailings pond.

    All of this technology has been in use around the world for 40 years . . .

    Environmentalists DO NOT advocate these “clean Energy” solutions . . . Why not ??

    All of these solutions have been installed at Belldune New Brunswick Canada.

    Solutions . . . Solutions . . . NOT PROPAGANDA . . . A New World Order . . .

    Time to change how we do things . . .

    • David Wojick permalink
      November 2, 2021 11:29 pm

      The issue is removing CO2 not trace pollutants. While that tech exists in principle but is absurdly expensive because it takes a third or so of the plant’s power to do it.

      • Jim Le Maistre permalink
        November 3, 2021 12:13 am

        I have visited the plant. That is patently untrue.
        It cost 650 million for scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators.
        The drywall is made by an independent operator on contract and sold all over North Eastern north America . . .
        What Price the Air we Breath . . . ??

      • Nial permalink
        November 3, 2021 9:49 am

        Jim, you’re not addressing David’s point.

        If you think CO2 is a problem and you try to capture it the whole process becomes massively inefficient.

        If you just want to burn coal in a ‘clean’ way (as I’m sure most here would approve of) then that’s possible as you say.

  6. PaulM permalink
    November 2, 2021 8:53 pm

    Economic reality will be the final judge, let us hope it is sooner rather than later…

  7. David Wojick permalink
    November 2, 2021 11:31 pm

    In the renewables chart above I doubt 2020Q4 is real. Way too much of an outlier.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 3, 2021 12:52 am

    I just posted a chart of the history of global coal consumption. China’s has been broadly stable for a number of years, but it completely dominates the global total. There is no way it is going to be replaced in a hurry, even if they wanted to.

    • Nicholas Lewis permalink
      November 3, 2021 10:39 am

      You could have said same about UK 20 years ago but the loons got their way. China has the ability, if it wants to, to easily get out of coal a lot quicker than we did but fortunately there brand of communism thinks about the consequences on the state unlike our lot so will only do it when it suits them not the West.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 3, 2021 12:45 pm

        What would they replace it with? Already, their import gas demand has overstretched world markets. Renewables are not going to cut the mustard.

  9. November 3, 2021 9:08 am

    You get the impression that where it was once thought fashionable to think in terms of AGW the emphasis has changed. Where there was once the imperative of world socialist intent, the dislike of industry and vague uncorroborated insinuation about the end, we have been been influenced by the same thread of socialism elsewhere. For socialists also have a jealous contempt for riches, the rich. As the dialogue moves to the exception of the rich and their contempt for others, self-serving socialism meets it dilemma. Now we find the ghost in the machine, socialism wants us all to be at the same level and it is perceived that AGW is a method by which the position of the ‘profligate rich’ is enshrined.

    We end up with a virtually insoluble position, whatever the climate is doing our liberal instinct finds other things even more egregious. If to save the planet, so the story goes, we have to be subservient to an oligarchy that seems to reside on another planet then that is the new slavery. While we plough our lonely strip the manorial lords are making rules to enhance themselves, to secure their own positions, deity and sovereign. When we get an Archbishop testily blaming God for engineering decline, in a very socialist liberal outburst, we have to ask what happened to faith?

    Perhaps the word faith is also pertinent in the secular world. If we lose faith in our leaders, those with a responsivity for our real world care, enhancing this our only existence, then we know how contrived politics has become. People are know seeing, in sharp relief, the difference between hypocrisy, sincerity, posturing and viability. It is is said, in the stand-up comedy world, that you you need sincerity and that once you have learned to fake that, you are made.

  10. Robin Guenier permalink
    November 3, 2021 1:46 pm

    A small correction Paul. It was nuclear power, not solar, that was up 9.3% over the two year period. It doesn’t affect the key point that wind and solar only supply 9% of China’s electricity.

  11. November 4, 2021 1:26 pm

    China Still Burning More & More Coal

    They have been burning coal for a long time now.
    Marco Polo (1254 – 1324 ) reported in his record of Travels to Cathay:

    It is a fact that all over the country of Cathay there is a kind of black stones existing in beds in the mountains, which they dig out and burn like firewood. If you supply the fire with them at night, and see that they are well kindled, you will find them still alight in the morning; and they make such capital fuel that no other is used throughout the country. It is true that they have plenty of wood also, but they do not burn it, because those stones burn better and cost less.

    Concerning the Black Stones that are Dug in Cathay, and Are Burnt for Fuel.

  12. Graham Naisbitt permalink
    November 4, 2021 5:13 pm

    For the record, its worth noting that in several areas in China they have power shortages and are having to work 3 or 4 day weeks. Just saying…

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