China’s installed coal capacity will increase from 846 Gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to an estimated 1016 GW by 2018 and the country will continue to lead the world by 2025, reaching over 1367 GW, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that while coal accounted for a substantial 62% share of China’s overall installed capacity in 2014, contributing to its status as the world’s biggest polluter, the country is showing signs of embracing clean coal technology for its new and existing power plants.
Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power, says China has implemented tighter emission standards for coal-fired power plants, including reduced allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and soot. The country has also agreed to limit the greenhouse gases it produces, with a cap expected to be announced this year, all to help reduce its carbon footprint.
Srinivasan explains: “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 (MW), along with circulating fluidised bed and integrated gasification combined cycle units with capacity greater than 300 MW.”
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, during which period this market is expected to generate approximately US$1141 billion.
“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,” the analyst concludes.
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