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It’s true that China consumes around a quarter of the world’s total primary energy and more than half its coal. This was once a necessity. The “open door” policy to foreign investment that began in the late 1970s led to rapid economic growth and, in turn, a spectacular rise in energy demand. Electricity consumption in China rose from just 232 kilowatt hours (KWh) in 1978 to nearly 6,000 terawatt hours (TWh) today – that is, six thousand billion kilowatt hours – and to keep up with demand, China needed coal.

With economic growth slowing and the heaviest polluters being forced to use less energy, coal generation was a natural choice to cut back. By this point, people in China were well aware of the problem with coal. And from the mid-2000s the pollution problem was becoming too serious to ignore, and civil society groups began to protest. Local authorities initially resisted the government’s “war on pollution” but last year brought about some of the worst smog ever recorded in China and the strongest response yet from the central authorities.

In September 2016, China’s cancelled more than 103 under-construction and planned coal-fired power plants, a total of 120 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity. In March this year, premier Li Keqiang announced that an additional 50GWh would be shut down or postponed. The coal power stopped in China so far is equivalent to the combined coal power capacity of the UK and Spain. China’s era of one coal-fired station a week is over.

Beijing’s long-standing opposition to international climate change obligations is well-known, at least prior to the 2015 UN conference in Paris. But things are changing. Though China’s coal capacity may yet increase slightly over the next few years, any growth will be dwarfed by planned investment in solar, wind and nuclear.
China is now the world’s largest backer of green energy, accounting for 17% of global investment in the sector. According to Greenpeace, it installed an average of more than one wind turbine every hour of every day in 2015. It also covered the equivalent of one soccer field with solar panels every hour, action that may allow China to meet its 2020 goals for solar installation two years ahead of schedule. By 2030 it is hoped that cleaner energy will help reduce China’s CO₂ emissions by 54% from 2010 levels.
 

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Glad China finally smelled the coffee.

Leaders of another country in North America on the other hand (*cough*) are tripping over themselves however to go the other way.
 

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Shouldn’t this be where the utility companies and private industry step it up to make the conversion to renewable energy happen quickly? I had the surprise of my life two years ago when I drove past what used to be a potato field and instead of potatoes a field of solar panels had “grown”…right here on Long Island. Apparently there is an economic advantage to going solar here.

Harnessing wind has also begun here. A wind turbine array off Block Island is providing electricity to parts of Rhode Island and a large array, potentially as many as 200 units, will be built between Montauk Point and Martha's Vineyard to provide electricity for NYS and others. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/...ong-island-power-authority-offshore-wind.html

When there is a will in the legislatures of the States, it isn't absolutely necessary for Fed to lead the way. It will get done.
 

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In September 2016, China’s cancelled more than 103 under-construction and planned coal-fired power plants, a total of 120 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity. In March this year, premier Li Keqiang announced that an additional 50GWh would be shut down or postponed. The coal power stopped in China so far is equivalent to the combined coal power capacity of the UK and Spain. China’s era of one coal-fired station a week is over.
That's great, but cancelling 103 under-construction and planned coal power plants, doesn't actually say they cancelled all of the coal power plants under construction or planned. Also, the existing coal power plants have a life of 50 yrs, what's the situation for existing coal power plants? How many are there, and where are they in their life cycle? There's a long way to go ...

"Though China’s coal capacity may yet increase slightly over the next few years"
I would have bolded that point.
 

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That's great, but cancelling 103 under-construction and planned coal power plants, doesn't actually say they cancelled all of the coal power plants under construction or planned. Also, the existing coal power plants have a life of 50 yrs, what's the situation for existing coal power plants? How many are there, and where are they in their life cycle? There's a long way to go ...

"Though China’s coal capacity may yet increase slightly over the next few years"
I would have bolded that point.
This is spin and it does show some logical holes despite the usual efforts to slant a story. It would be interesting to know who wrote it, maybe?

"By 2030 it is hoped that cleaner energy will help reduce China’s CO₂ emissions by 54% from 2010 levels" doesn't mean much. Actually, it doesn't mean anything - "hoped"? Not to mention that we're talking about a period of 20 years.

"The coal power stopped in China so far is equivalent to the combined coal power capacity of the UK and Spain" - well, the UK and Spain aren't the big coal users in the EU. But you'd have to look that up to see how lame this claim is.

"China’s era of one coal-fired station a week is over" - one every two weeks? One a month?

Give me a story that doesn't pit one energy source against another and I'll cut it a lot more slack.
 

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Meanwhile in the good ole USA the dinosaurs rule the political landscape.
 

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That's great, but cancelling 103 under-construction and planned coal power plants, doesn't actually say they cancelled all of the coal power plants under construction or planned. Also, the existing coal power plants have a life of 50 yrs, what's the situation for existing coal power plants? How many are there, and where are they in their life cycle? There's a long way to go ...

"Though China’s coal capacity may yet increase slightly over the next few years"
I would have bolded that point.
It's not the capacity that really matters. Capacity construction is based on demand expectations. HIn 2016 electricity demand in China fell slightly, and thermal plant utilization rates dropped below 50%. Previous construction, combined with mandated improvements to power plant efficiency (focused on reducing pollution) combined with increased use of renewable electricity have together resulted in a coal power glut. With the economic slowdown, they simply don't need to build a lot of new capacity. (Even when they build new capacity they shut down some of the older, less-efficient plants).
 

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It's not the capacity that really matters. Capacity construction is based on demand expectations. In 2016 electricity demand in China fell slightly, and thermal plant utilization rates dropped below 50%. Previous construction, combined with mandated improvements to power plant efficiency (focused on reducing pollution) combined with increased use of renewable electricity have together resulted in a coal power glut. With the economic slowdown, they simply don't need to build a lot of new capacity. (Even when they build new capacity they shut down some of the older, less-efficient plants).
This is the story that should have been told.

Meanwhile in the good ole USA the dinosaurs rule the political landscape.
And around the world........
 
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