In an ambitious move linked to the ongoing Paris climate talks, China announced this week that it will cut its power sector emissions by 60 per cent by 2020.
The nation also said it aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its coal-fired power plants by 180 million tonnes in the next five years. According to the government, the cuts will be achieved through efficiency upgrades, which are expected to decrease coal use by 100 million metric tonnes.
And, according to the government’s website, the nation is to set a country-wide efficiency standard for coal-fired power plants, eliminating the regional differences allowed in previous standards.
To fulfil the new plan, in addition to subsidies already available to power generators that install emissions reduction equipment, the government said it would offer additional financial support for plant upgrades.
China’s use of coal for power production decreased by almost 8 per cent in 2015 and now stands at a record low. However, although the nation shut down 4.9 GW of older and smaller coal-fired plants last year, local governments approved 200 GW of new coal-fired capacity (155 plants) in the first half of 2015.