China builds world’s largest clean-coal power generation system

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/13 21:50:35

A worker rides his scooter near the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Power Generator Co's coal power plant in Shanghai. File photo: VCG

China has established the world's largest clean-coal power generation system, a new milestone in cutting emissions and saving energy.

This development shows the nation's determination in building a clean economy will not be hindered by a downward economic pressure, experts said.

The country has already achieved its target of ultra-low emissions and energy conservation as outlined in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) two years in advance, the Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, citing the National Energy Administration (NEA).

By the end of the third quarter of 2018, the capacity of thermal generation facilities with ultra-low emissions in China exceeded 750 million kilowatts, including 700 million kilowatts of renovated facilities. These facilities accounted for more than 75 percent of the country's total installed capacity of coal-fired units, figures from the NEA showed. 

Since 2016, the first year of the 13th Five-Year Plan, 350 million kilowatts of facilities have completed energy conservation, beating the total target of 340 million shown in a plan jointly issued in 2015 by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the National Development and Reform Commission and the NEA.

The plan also set a target of converting all thermal power stations into ultra-low emission models by 2020.

Lin Boqiang, a professor at Xiamen University in East China's Fujian Province, told the Global Times Wednesday that it is no problem for China to meet its 2020 goal of realizing ultra-low emissions for the remaining 25 percent of coal-fired power plants, thanks to the technological upgrades and high standards of environmental protection.

"China has now the world's most advanced and best facilities in the coal-fired power industry," said Lin.

"If you compare the US with China in terms of the industry's development, you'll find the US is a 'developing country.' Most of its facilities are two or three decades old, and there are few new coal-fired power plants in the US," he noted.

China's clean-up effort, part of its measures in the anti-pollution campaign, will remain steadfast over the long term, regardless of current downward economic pressure, Lin said.

China's carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP, fell by 46 percent in 2017 compared with the level in 2005. That met the target ahead of schedule of a 40- to 45-percent drop by 2020 as the country pledged at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in October last year.

"In the past, China had more relaxed pollutant-emission standards than developed countries, yet the nation's standards have become the most strict in the world," said Lin.

At the moment, China's coal-fired power industry consumes nearly half of the total coal used in the country, while the rest is used in other sectors such as steel, cement, sheet glass and electrolytic aluminum.

Lin said that unlike the efficient coal-fired power sector, those other industries need to make much more effort in enhancing efficiency and technological standards. 

"That will be where we should make real headway in the next few years," he added.

Newspaper headline: Nation builds world’s largest clean-coal power generation system


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