China sets renewable energy target of 35% by 2030 amid concerns about new coal-plant construction

The SCMP reports that the previous goal was “non fossil fuel” to make up 20% of energy by 2030. But satellite photos suggest a disastrous 250 GW of new coal being built – an amount bigger than the US coal fleet.

One senses something of an insurgency – incumbency struggle going on in Beijing on energy. Hardly unfamiliar, then. Officials argue about their models and belief systems, and the planet hangs in the balance.

Image: Coalswarm

One comment

  1. That ‘disastrous 250 GW of new coal being built’ to replace existing coal units and cut coal consumption.

    China’s power engineers began replacing conventional coal plants in 2014 with units twenty percent more efficient and thirty percent less polluting. Fuel savings recoup their cost in fifteen years.

    Though every power plant will be clean by 2021 (cleaner than 80% of American plants), the world’s largest plants–one thousand five hundred 1,000 MW coal-fired units–will still generate thirty percent of the planet’s carbon dioxide emissions.

    State Grid engineers plan to reduce those mega-plants’ emissions to zero by replacing their coal furnaces with Pebble Bed Reactors made of stacked, uranium-cored graphite spheres (pebbles) and conducting their heat to boilers by circulating helium gas. Passively safe–overheated stacks simply melt a plug and the pebbles roll into a cooling area–the first plant will come online in 2019. In 2021 a factory will begin mass-producing pebble bed reactors and shipping them to replace the furnaces at coal-fired mega-plants. The plants will continue operating with their existing (retrained) staffs, electricity grids, transmission lines, cooling water, roads and railroad tracks–but without the pollution.

    So chill. China’s all over it.

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