China approves two new coal plants every week to ensure stability “when renewables fail”

By Jo Nova

It’s the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth and one country is building six times as much new coal power as the rest of the world combined. But no one cares.

Sinful Australia hasn’t even built a coal plant in 12 long years, but Saint China is approving a new one every three and a half days. One nation is theoretically destroying the world’s corals, creating droughts, floods and bad storms, and making reef fish reckless but no one is gluing themselves to the Chinese Embassy. The same universities who lecture us on carbon pollution are not even boycotting Chinese students. We have to ask — do reef fish matter? Are floods a bad thing?

Either CO2 is just a shiny amulet or everyone who cares about it is functionally innumerate. It could be both.


Meanwhile on the cat-walks of intellectual fashion shows the Western world’s elite competes to be more concerned than the next guy about the dire problems of CO2. President Xi cheers them on, promises to act, then builds another coal plant.

Constructing 106 Gigawatts of coal power in 2023 doesn’t exactly sit well with President Xi’s pledge that China would start to reduce coal consumption by 2030 “at the latest”.

UPDATE: The pledge was to phase coal down between 2026 – 2030

China aims to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060

China has stated in the updated NDC that it will stringently curb coal-powered projects, set strict limits on the increase in coal consumption during 2021-2025 and to phase it down during 2026-2030.

A “peak” before 2030 means a permanent reduction. If you were planning a permanent reduction from Dec 2029, would you be building 100 coal plants a year, just seven years before then, or would you be lying…

But a tactic of pretending to be Green whilst doing the exact opposite —  as your adversaries wreck their own industrial bases — would make you a bad citizen, but a good strategist, if you can get away with it. Remember the research group that says pro-China groups are posing as fake green protestors to try to stop rare earth mines in the US.

In a sense, they’d be crazy if they weren’t.

China ramps up coal plant approvals despite emissions pledge: report

by Poornima Weerasekara, Phys Org

China last year approved the largest expansion of coal-fired power plants since 2015, according to a study published Monday, despite its vow to begin phasing down use of the fossil fuel in just three years.

The coal power capacity that China began building in 2022 was six times as much as that in the rest of the world combined, the report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland and the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) added.

China needs these coal plants for “when renewables fail”

Local officials say new coal plants will serve as a backup to ensure stable supplies when renewables fail.

So the West is demolishing coal plants, and hoping to use batteries and pumped hydro for back up power, but China is using coal, and if it accidentally finds out that coal is cheaper than coal-plus-wind they can just keep running the back up plants can’t they, while someone slowly restores the trailing edge on the wind blades. The slower the better.

It’s one of those rare times when the more maintenance you do, the cheaper it gets.

Green paint for Chairman Mao. …by Daderot

Another coal fired boom started in China last year:

“The speed at which projects progressed through permitting to construction in 2022 was extraordinary.”

A total of 106 GW of new coal power projects were approved in 2022—the equivalent of two large coal plants per week—it said.

Plants accounting for around a third of that capacity have already begun construction, with some gaining permits, securing financing and breaking ground “within a matter of months”.

Only $1.5b in subsidies?

The rush for approvals started after China’s cabinet in May announced 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) of investment in coal power generation.

“This is the same dynamic that we saw during the previous boom in 2015,” Lauri Myllyvirta, Lead Analyst at CREA, told AFP.

“No one knows how long the floodgates will stay open, so local governments try to rush as many projects through as they can.”

There are no calls here for carbon tariffs on Chinese goods made with coal power. No boycott and divestment program. No protestors lying on the road in front of the Chinese Ambassador. No threats from BlackRock to raise the interest rates of China if they don’t comply.

It’s almost like the news stories and protest groups were approved by President Xi?


China permits two new coal power plants per week in 2022, CREA