A report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) states that coal-fired power plant permitting, construction starts, and new project announcements have accelerated dramatically in China in 2022, with new permits reaching the highest level since 2015.
The amount of coal-fired power capacity starting construction in China is six times larger than that of the rest of the world combined.
President Xi has pledged that China will reduce coal consumption from 2026-2030, through reduced utilisation of China’s coal-fired power fleet rather than in reduction of the capacity. This is unlikely to be achieved. It is believed that the pressure to make use of the newly built coal-fired power plants and avoid low utilisation will lead to a moderation of China’s renewable energy build, or the encouragement of energy-intensive industries to consume the electricity, or both.
China gave permits for 106 GW of new coal-fired construction, with 50 GW have started construction, in 2022. The amount of permits is more than four times greater than the 23 GW granted in 2021. Construction has been largest in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, and Hubei.