China builds up world’s largest ultra-low emission thermal power plant cluster
Published: Aug 23, 2022 11:01 PM
Thermal power plant in Mianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan Province Photo: VCG

Thermal power plant in Mianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan Province Photo: VCG

China has built up the largest ultra-low emission thermal power plant cluster globally thanks to the efforts and investments made in environmental technologies and policies, with related technologies leading the way globally, the country's environment authority said on Tuesday.

China's ultra-low emission thermal power plants and large-scale waste incineration facilities are global leaders in cutting edge technology. The country's ultra-low emission thermal power plants have become the world's largest such cluster, Zhou Shoumin, director at the Department of Science, Technology, and Finance under China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), said at the ministry's monthly press conference on Tuesday.

In 2015, governmental departments, including the MEE, published a working plan, urging the all coal-fired power plants that are eligible for renovation in the country to achieve ultra-low emissions, which is, under the condition of the 6 percent reference oxygen content, soot, SO2, NOx emission concentration should be lower than 10, 35, 50 mg/m3 respectively.

By the end of 2021, China had about 1.03 billion kW of coal-fired power units that had achieved ultra-low emission status, accounting for 93 percent of the country's total installed coal power capacity, according to the China Electricity Council in July.

In 2021, the national electricity soot, SO2, and NOx emissions were about 123,000 tons, 547,000 tons, and 862,000 tons respectively, which saw a 69 percent, 73 percent, and 52 percent decline from 2015, the China Electricity Council said.

Meanwhile, according to Zou, China has built 240 urban waste incineration plants. Waste incineration power plants are open to the public as environment protection facilities.

In 2021, the operational income of the environmental protection industry reached about 2.18 trillion yuan ($318 billion), he said.

China has announced that it will strive to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In the latest efforts, this month, nine ministries and national departments jointly published a plan on scientifically and technologically supporting the country's dual carbon goals.