And while this rise in coal consumption will cement China’s status as the world’s biggest polluter, the study from research firm GlobalData stresses that the country is “showing signs of embracing clean coal technology for its new and existing power plants”.
GlobalData’s senior power analyst Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan said that China has implemented tighter emission standards for coal-fired power plants, including reduced allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and soot.
The report states that the country has also agreed to limit the greenhouse gases it produces, with a cap expected to be announced this year.
Srinivasan said: “Government policies, laws and regulations are encouraging the construction of large-scale, coal-fired units with higher efficiency, lower water usage and more effective emission controls.
“These technologies will require the installation of power plant units based on supercritical and ultra-supercritical technology with capacity greater than 600 megawatts, along with circulating fluidized bed and integrated gasification combined cycle units with capacity greater than 300 megawatts.”
The study states that China currently restricts approval for coal-fired units that require coal consumption higher than 300 grams of coal equivalent (gce) per kilowatt hour (kWh), or 305 gce per kWh when air-cooled, and restrictions also apply to conventional coal-fired units with capacity of less than 300 MW.
GlobalData forecasts China’s clean coal capacity to increase by 508 GW between 2016 and 2025.
Srinivasan added: “These additions will be driven by new power plants, all of which will be equipped with clean coal technology, and by retrofit projects at older plants.”