China commits to coal for its energy future

March 6, 2023

Amidst dramatic global changes in coal consumption China has committed to the continued use of coal.

Reuters reported that China's state planner underlined a greater role for coal in its power supply, saying the fossil fuel would be used to improve the reliability and security of its energy system.

China relied on coal to generate 56.2 percent of its electricity last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, but has significantly boosted its use of natural gas and renewable energy in recent years to lower carbon emissions.

Fluctuating output from renewable plants, however, has led policymakers to lean on reliable and easily dispatchable coal power to shore up the country's baseload supply. Last year, scorching summer temperatures and a drought in China's southwest caused hydropower output to dwindle, leading to power outages.

"We will strengthen the basic supporting role of coal (and) take orderly steps to increase advanced coal production while ensuring safety," said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a report to the annual gathering of parliament.

China approved the construction of another 106 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity last year, four times higher than a year earlier and the highest since 2015, driven by energy security considerations, research showed last week.

About 50GW of that went into construction.

"The energy security narrative is still going strong," said Greenpeace China policy advisor Li Shuo.

"This has given impetus to China's coal sector as seen in the rapid approval of coal plants across the country," he said.



Related article search:
Coal     China     Energy