Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova; CNBC; According to Su Wei, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Development and Reform Commission, renewable energy is too unreliable to power China.

China has ‘no other choice’ but to rely on coal power for now, official says

PUBLISHED THU, APR 29 202112:03 AM EDTUPDATED THU, APR 29 202112:25 AM EDT
Evelyn Cheng @CHENGEVELYN

  • President Xi Jinping announced in September the country’s carbon emissions would begin to decline by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality by 2060 — in four decades.
  • In the meantime, policymakers are making clear that economic growth remains a top priority — and that growth depends largely on coal power.
  • “Because renewable energy (sources such as) wind and solar power are intermittent and unstable, we must rely on a stable power source,” said Su Wei, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Development and Reform Commission. “We have no other choice. For a period of time, we may need to use coal power as a point of flexible adjustment.”

In the meantime, policymakers are making clear that economic growth remains a top priority — and that growth depends largely on coal power. Beijing has a GDP target of 6% this year, a level which analysts say would allow authorities to tackle long-term problems such as the country’s high debt levels.

“China’s energy structure is dominated by coal power. This is an objective reality,” said Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission. CNBC translated his Mandarin-language comments, which he made late last week following Xi’s separate remarks at a U.S.-led global leaders climate summit.

“Because renewable energy (sources such as) wind and solar power are intermittent and unstable, we must rely on a stable power source,” Su said. “We have no other choice. For a period of time, we may need to use coal power as a point of flexible adjustment.”

He added that coal is readily available, while renewable energy needs to develop further in China.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/29/climate-china-has-no-other-choice-but-to-rely-on-coal-power-for-now.html

Renewables were never going to be a viable option for China. They gave it a go, but their experiments in renewables have been plagued by intermittency and issues such as wind turbines icing up in winter.

Regular readers might have noticed I’m not a fan of the Chinese system of government. But one of their few advantages over the West is the Chinese government is dominated by engineers and scientists, people who know how to perform a few simple calculations.

via Watts Up With That?

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May 3, 2021