The decline in CO2 emissions from coal burning in China may accelerate after the head of the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Monday said the government would rigorously restrain the construction of new coal-fired power plants, including withdrawing some approvals that have already been given.
The NEA published a statement on its website detailing plans for how it would cut the massive coal supply glut in China by around 500 million tonnes over the next three to five years, including shutting down over 1,000 mines in 2016.
The plan also contained some new measures to limit demand, including restricting new coal-fired plants, although no specific number was mentioned.
Despite a drop in coal consumption last year – which analysts say led to a 3% drop in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning – China in the first nine months of 2015 approved the construction of over 150 new coal-fired power plants.
But the building of some of those plants would now be delayed and the government would withdraw some of the approvals of new plants already granted in regions with a supply glut, according to the NEA statement signed by the agency’s head Nur Bekri.
The NEA statement also urged involved parties to find a solution to the alleged curtailment of renewable energy in regional grids, where local governments tend to favour major coal companies over renewable generators.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org