China is stopping construction of new coal-fired power plants in 15 regions as it looks to tackle an over-capacity problem.

China¬†will stop the construction of coal-fired power plants in 15 regions as part of its efforts to tackle a capacity glut in the sector, the country’s energy regulator said.
China coal-fired power plant
The National Energy Administration (NEA) confirmed that regulators had halted the construction of coal-fired plants in regions where capacity was already in surplus, including the major coal producing centres of Inner Mongolia, Shanxi and Shaanxi.

A news report on the subject added that China would also stop approving new projects in as many as 13 provinces and regions until 2018.

The rapid expansion of China’s coal-fired power capacity, together with a slowdown in demand growth, has saddled the sector with its lowest utilisation rates since 1978, the NEA said earlier this year.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the rules, if fully implemented, could involve up to 250 power projects with a total of 170 GW in capacity, according to initial estimates.

Thermal power, which mostly consists of coal-fired capacity, rose 9.4 per cent on the year to 1,003.8 GW. China aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels to 15 per cent of total primary energy by 2020, up from 12 per cent at the end of last year.