Can We Stop Pretending China Actually Cares About Global Warming?

Energy

From The Daily Caller

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BEIJING – JUNE 15: An outstrected hand touches the Hammer and Sickle logo at an exhibition promoting the Chinese Communist Party on June 15, 2005 in Beijing, China. A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has urged officials in charge of discipline inspection and supervision to be fully aware of the vital importance of improving the Party’s work style and building a clean government. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images) ∧

 Environmental activists have called China as the world’s de facto “leader” on fighting global warming, but energy experts don’t think the communist nation will actually do much to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that while China will peak its coal use as soon as next year, “coal will remain an important component of China’s energy mix, peaking at nearly 4,400 billion kilowatthours (bkWh) by 2030.”

China has been replacing older, less efficient coal plants and even delaying coal projects until after 2020 as part of the government’s crackdown on air pollution. However, China still operates 1,000 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity, and that number isn’t expected to change much in the coming decades.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2017

Coal’s share of the Chinese electricity market is expected to shrink dramatically, but that’s a relative measure. The EIA doesn’t expect Chinese coal use to change much in absolute terms by 2040.
 

However, there’s a lot of uncertainty in EIA projections. The EIA bases its outlook on current policies, including China’s latest five-year plan and the country’s plan to comply with the Paris climate accord.

China promised to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and increase its use of energy from non-fossil fuel energy sources. China wants to get 20 percent of its energy from solar, wind, nuclear and hydro power by 2030.

China announced its Paris accord ambitions alongside former President Barack Obama in late 2014. One year later, China joined nearly 200 other countries in signing the accord.

President Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord, largely on grounds that it favored China and India. Many politicians and environmentalists now see China as the “leader” of the global warming crusade.

China currently gets 72 percent of its electricity from coal plants and is ranked as the top carbon dioxide-emitting country in the world.

China and India both increased coal use in the first half of 2017, and China has spent billions of dollars financing coal projects outside its borders.

China signed a joint venture with Pakistan that is “expected to spend around $15 billion over the next 15 years to build close to a dozen coal power plants of varying sizes around the country,” Reuters reported in May.

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155 thoughts on “Can We Stop Pretending China Actually Cares About Global Warming?

  1. Allow me to be the first to point out that the picture at the top of this story shows the flag of the Soviet Union and not the flag of the People’s Republic of China.
    That said, this story is sort of “Dog Bites Man.” Anyone with a lick of sense knew that the PRC was ‘playing’ Obama and was a ‘leader’ of the global warming crusade the way a shepherd leads his flock to the slaughter house. But never underestimate the ability of some people to be able to fool themselves, because they want to ‘believe’ so hard in their own created narrative.

  2. Earlier this year, China cancelled plans for construction of 100 coal-fired power plants. Trumpeted across green sites as if China had converted over completely to solar.

    This cancelled the plans for 100 plants because analysis indicated they could manage with just 1,100 new ones and not the original 1,200 .

  3. Why is every graph dealing with what’s “bad” i.e. things like global temperatures and arctic ice loss predictions an ever increasing accelerating trend. But then when it’s something they want to sell us as “good” the graph is always an ever slowing decreasing trend? I wasn’t taught in high school to base my graphing on my political view of a subject, guess i just had a bad teacher, the other magical thing about this graph is that it starts slowing next year wow how amazing it is that they can just flip a switch and poof everything changes tomorrow.

      • It reminds me of all the graphs put out by Peak Oil believers over the last 3 decades. A well defined increasing trend right up to the present, followed by a projection of a sharp downward turn and a declining trend for the future.

        Needless to say, all those projections didn’t seem to be vary accurate. I doubt this one will fair any better, especially as it is apparently at least partly based on the idea that China will keep all it’s Paris Climate promises.

        ~_~

    • Yes, that projected sharp increase in wind and solar power is laughable. I look forward to that moving out to the right next year. And the year after that. And the year after that…

  4. My guess is their nuclear plants will be very successful and their
    “planned” increase in wind and solar will not be successful and curtailed.

    • My guess is their nuclear plants will be very successful and their
      “planned” increase in wind and solar will not be successful and curtailed.

      Could well be. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that unlike the US, UK, and EU, China’s leaders include a high percentage of folks trained in hard sciences and engineering. It’s at least possible that they may show a little more pragmatism than lawyers, historians, MBAs, political science majors and God only knows what else in where and how they deploy wind and solar. It’s not that wind and solar can’t produce some useful power. It’s that when approached using the rather clueless assumption that they are plug-in replacements for dispatchable power sources, the resulting system tends to be expensive and dubiously reliable.

  5. China has committed to cleaning up its environment and US climate sceptics should be applauding rather than criticising them for this.

    Sceptics do talk a lot of tripe sometimes – not really knowing anything about a topic but just going with their gut antagonism. Here is a source on a highly regarded lawyer and his take on China’s new resolve to commit to climate change and the environment:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/10/my-job-is-to-clean-up-the-environment-china-really-wants-to-do-that

    • Thanks but I’ll stick with the data if it’s all the same with you. Watermelons can get their “information” from the Guardian if they wish.

    • A highly regarded lawyer and his take on China.

      Now that’s funny.
      Coming from the Guardian makes it twice as funny.

    • If they are committing to cleaning up their environment that is a good thing but has nothing to do with harmless CO2. I’ve been to China 6 times in the last 2 years and their air quality is horrendous. Their beaches are disgusting and I wouldn’t drink their water if you paid me millions. But if you think they are going to handcuff their economy by reducing their CO2 emissions to below what they are using now, I want to have some of what you are smoking.

      • When primary sources of city pollutants are exhaust emissions and dust storms, how come CO2 is the dreaded culprit?

    • While believing the Grauniad is perhaps tolerable, as they are not much worse than much of the legacy media, placing any credence in the statements of the PRC is dangerously perverse. The PRC is somewhat more tied to reality than the old Soviet Union, but has much the same attitude towards reported statistics.
      Do a bit of research, Ivan. No one saw the collapse of the USSR coming, as the economic reporting even internal to the Soviet Union was fantasy. As the PRC has even more effective censorship, any reporting from that country must be deeply discounted.

    • Another case of “eyes wide shut”. Someone needs to spend some time in China, lots of time. China does not care about CO2. They have much bigger problems. Even small cities (1,000,000 +) have air and water quality problems. The collusion between local industry and local government is enormous.Make waves and go public, and you and your family will be silenced and punished. China is a tough place to be an activist as you and your family will no longer have jobs and no chance for employment. China needs that 7% growth to push prosperity west to quiet decent as east China grows. The Outsiders will only be used for political purposes. The Chinese expression “It may be possible”, is a polite way of saying, it will never happen.

    • ivankinsman

      Whoopi, China the world’s biggest polluter is committed to cleaning up its environment. We Americans should be so grateful! China is not committed to lower CO2 emissions but since CO2 is not a problem it really doesn’t matter to me but I wish they were because then they would be at least wasting the same effort as we are for no reason. Now if only they were committed to cleaning up real pollutants, the same as we have been for 100 years or so. China is committed to China and anything that gives them a competitive edge fair or unfair they don’t give a damn, woopi for socialists and a planned economy.

    • Reporting of emissions is by the country involved. China has a history of not reporting emissions that have been observed by independent sources. So all they need to do to meet the “Paris Accords” is to declare themselves in compliance. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    • Does living in a cleaner world actually have anything to to with Climate Change ?

      The US passed the Clear Air Act in 1973, the Clean Water Act in 1972 .. back when the Earth was cooling.

    • “China has committed to cleaning up its environment ”

      That’s probably true. But the assumption that “cleaning up their environment” is somehow related to climate change is likely rather a stretch. China has notorious air pollution problems and probably a LOT of water pollution issues and contaminated industrial sites as well. Are they going to try to clean that up? Seems likely. If so, good for them. It’s huge job BTW. It took the US about four decades and the cleanup of contaminated “Superfund” sites is still underway.

      Do they share the rather bizarre conviction that climate change is, a huge, pressing problem and is going to kill us all if we don’t panic and do as many mindless things as possible as quickly as we can? Possibly. But I’m inclined to doubt it. I suspect that their concern about climate change is at most skin deep and is intended mostly to defer criticism of their energy sector’s CO2 emissions for as long as possible.

    • “Here is a source on a highly regarded lawyer and his take on China’s new resolve to commit to climate change and the environment:”

      Here is a source from a highly regarded news service and its report on China’s *old* resolve to commit to U.N. Resolutions regarding N. Korea. They resolved to halt imports of N Korean coal from Feb 19 until Dec. 31:

      China resumed coal imports from North Korea five months after suspending them to comply with a United Nations Security Council resolution over the country’s nuclear program.

      China imported 1.64 million tons of coal from Kim Jong Un’s regime in August, the first such shipments since February, according to General Administration of Customs data emailed Tuesday. Shipments in the first eight months of this year totaled 4.31 million tons, a 71 percent decline from the same period in 2016.

      China’s Ministry of Commerce said in February that coal imports from North Korea would be halted from Feb. 19 to Dec. 31 in accordance with the UN resolution, including cargoes at Chinese ports that hadn’t completed customs clearance.

      “I can assure you, that as a permanent member of the Security Council we have always strictly implemented UN Security Council resolutions,” said Lu Kang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman in a regular briefing. Asked if the import figures were inaccurate, Lu referred questions to GAC.

      Welcome to Chinese “commitment”.

      • No an honest man speaking a truth he got from trustworthy people =? Very neo-con to treat the whole Chinese environmental initiative as one big lie. I have no idea what you think they expect to gain from lying? Your viewpoint smacks of absurdity.

    • “China has committed to cleaning up its environment”

      “China” can be understood as shorthand for “top policy-makers.” And “committed” can be understood as “issued directives and press releases.”

      However, I’ve read that local power plant managers tend to ignore directives that harm them personally. For instance, I’ve read that they turn off “scrubbers” when the inspectors aren’t looking, because scrubbing reduces their power production, which may make them “miss their numbers” that were handed down as goals for the latest five-year plan.

  6. China wants to get 20 percent of its energy from solar, wind, nuclear and hydro power by 2030.

    And that could very well mean …… 1% from solar, …… 0.5% from wind ……. and 18.5% from nuclear and hydro.

    China is a large country with many remote areas of sparse population …… where only solar or wind generated electricity is economically feasible.

    Like most areas in the State of Alaska, …… coal, nuclear and hydro generated power is of no consideration whatsoever.

      • My understanding was that pumped storage is not a source of energy, but rather a load leveling scheme.
        I do not understand why it would be included on such a chart.

      • MarkW, ….. “HA”, maybe they are “estimating” the additional amount of “energy value” that is gained by the yearly rainfall/precipitation that collects in the pumped-storage reservoir/pond.

  7. The deal with Pres O resulted in building a surplus of plants and replacement plants now while they ‘honor’ the deal, then stop in 2030 and coast with a large coal capacity. They rightly judge that the whole shyteree will be well over and a new putsch will be cooked up by the globalgov set. China can’t believe the opportunities being offered by a self immolating West.

    • Very True.

      President Trump was wrong to say that AGW is a Chinese hoax, but rather they are milking it for all its worth and screwing the developed West in the meantime. These Chinese are a sensible lot exploiting the market.

      • Trump was wrong to say that CAGW is a Chinese Hoax because they are Johnny-come-latelies to the cause. It was dreamed up by western leftists, with the advice and encouragement of Soviet propagandists who were always looking to promote dezinformatsiya. In more recent years it has been funded and promoted by Russian and Arab oil interests who are best served by blocking the development of US and North American fossil fuels.

        Chinese wrong. Foreigners and Anti-Americans right.

  8. I wonder whether China is even on the same page as the USA, in its definition of what it thinks it needs to be doing. Maybe they are more pollution focused, having not yet embraced the idea that CO2 is a “pollutant”.

    I don’t know, but as badly as USA climate alarmists conflate the concepts of pollution and CO2 climate change, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    • China is even on the same page as the USA
      ———–
      Absolutely. China talks like Obama and acts like Trump.

      Chinese policy is too tell you whatever you want to hear, while China does whatever is in its best interests. There is no connection between what China says and what it does, because they serve two different objectives.

  9. Let’s look at what Charles’ IEA link says:

    “Coal-fired electricity generation in China, the world’s largest coal consumer, is expected to remain flat through 2040, according to EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017). Other fuels, such as renewables, natural gas, and nuclear power, are expected to make up increasing shares of China’s electricity generation.

    Despite declines in coal’s generation share, IEO2017 projects that coal will remain an important component of China’s energy mix, peaking at nearly 4,400 billion kilowatthours (bkWh) by 2030. However, as China continues to replace older, less efficient generators with more efficient units, China’s power sector coal consumption is expected to peak as soon as 2018, at 4,800 million metric tons.

    As part of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, a total of 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity has been canceled or postponed until at least 2020. Increasingly strict controls on total coal capacity and power plant emissions are expected to prompt the retirement of up to 20 GW of older plants and spur technological upgrades to China’s remaining 1,000 GW of coal power. ”

    Coal peaks next year: 150GW of plan cancelled, 20GW to retire and 1,000 GW to be made more efficient.

    Looks like they do care about reducing coal use, eh?

    • “Looks like they do care about reducing coal use, eh?”

      Of course. For one thing, they have big time air pollution problems caused largely by coal. Now that their folks are actually approaching the standard of living of a poor Eastern European country, they can afford to start trying to clean that up.

      Besides which — unlike the US which sits atop two of the world’s great coalfields and is sort of the Saudi Arabia of coal — they don’t have hundreds of years of reserves of coal to burn.

      • Dan — my impression is that Chinese laws require scrubbers. The question would probably be whether the laws are enforced.

      • “The question would probably be whether the laws are enforced.”

        I’ve read that the inspectors try to enforce the laws (the ones that aren’t bribed), but that local plant managers turn off scrubbers to get more power when they aren’t looking.

    • Looks like you are fool who believes what the Chinese say. ferdberple at 7:02 am understands it correctly. The Chinese say whatever useful idiots want to believe, and does whatever the heck they want to do.

    • “Looks like they do care about reducing coal use, eh?”

      Is the motivation environmental or economical? Once solar becomes efficient enough, I’m all over it. Not because it’s “good for the environment”, but rather because it’s less/equally as expensive as the grid.

      “Coal peaks next year: 150GW of plan cancelled, 20GW to retire and 1,000 GW to be made more efficient.”

      170GW gone versus 1000GW made more efficient means they care about reducing coal use? Shouldn’t it rather be the other way around?

      Efficiency decreases costs to the State, thereby increasing the State’s coffers to spend elsewhere. For example, the personal enrichment of the Party leaders.

    • Griff, you are just deluding yourself, if you cannot carefully read news that seem to go in your wonderland.
      150 GW “canceled or postponed” are not 150 GW less, they are 150 GW previously put in the plan that won’t realize. It tells nothing of the reality, it tells about the plan (that the plan was too high in the first place, as they always are if you do things correctly, because you MUST have more projects that will be build ).
      You have no more reason to be happy about that that if you neighbor told you “I planned to dump 1000 kg of garbage in your garden more than last year, but now i guess it will be 150 kg less than planned”.
      But, still, you are happy with that…
      Will you be happy if I tell you that I would steal you 150 $ less than i previously planned? It seems so…
      What’s wrong with you ?

    • Griff

      “Coal peaks next year”
      And next year they will say the same thing, the year after that they will say the same thing.

  10. Its neither Russian or the Chinese fl;ag. It’s the old CCCP. But that’s not important right now, surely?

    The basic premise of the graph, and the claim China’s strategy is renewables going forward, is false in fact. Who are the “U.S. Energy Information Administration”, apart from a bunch of delusional propagandists who are simply making it up? Pure fabrication.

    THis is not even the Politburo’s stated policy, just wishful thinking by the American energy illiterati. China’s pathway to zero carbon has been clear for years. Nuclear plus hydro. See link. Well supported by what they are actually doing. See picture. Massive nuclear build dwarfing any other in the world. Given the necessary understanding of the technology, only plentiful cheap enrgy can deliver a successful developed economy. The British Empire used carbon as coal, at the volume later found under Saudi Arabia, to build its empire and lead the world into achieving a far higher economic level that supported a decent stabdard of livig for all, not just te privileged few and warlords. AKA developed status. Then forgot the rules, as have other developed counries, once they made the grade..

    Everything else comes second. Half China’s 20 strong politburo have numerate or technical degrees and rely on the new generation they spend hard cash on to be best value per KWh and adequate to keep their industrial manufacturer to the world economy working for decades once built. Only nuclear and hydro can deliver that goal. Renewables cannot do that, in simple energy science fact. Not enough energy in renewable sources in most places, not available to match demand, too expensive and resource intensive to collect and unsustainable w/o fossi backup, storage is not an affordable option and far too resource intesive – and pointles when nuclear does the job cheapest and on demand. , etc.

    Chinese are not as badly educated or delusional as most Americans, and are also technically literate. They know the American democratic technical illiterati are obsessed with renewable energy that will only make the US more dependent on China and uncompetitive on energy costs by its own science denying energy laws. So let them dig their own hole. It works for China, as long as America stays a country run by stupid energy science deniers, that is,.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/07/content_14223281.htm

    Your science may vary, but engineering does not.

    • Given the necessary understanding of the technology, only plentiful cheap energy can deliver a successful developed economy.

      And

      Only nuclear and hydro can deliver that goal. Renewables cannot do that, in simple energy science fact.

      Absolutely.

    • I saw a scary number kicking around of 1400GW of Fast neutron reactors for China by 2100. That is on top of everything else it has planned.

      • Why scary? 1,400 GW? Thats 100GW more than all their capacity today, 1,400 conventional 1 GW sized power stations, a bit more than they need for a very long time, but the end game, yes, with the Hydro and economic growth. For context the first Russian production scale unit was recenty s commissioned. 100 time the burn up, much more sustainable fuel wise and easier to process the much reduced spent fuel per MWh (same fission waste, I suppose? (same number of fissions per MWh? Less spent fuel to store? Less plutonium in the spent fuel (because its fissioned? Experts here? etc.

    • “Who are the “U.S. Energy Information Administration”, apart from a bunch of delusional propagandists who are simply making it up? ”

      Thanks Brian … not enough people want to know the answer to this question.

      • I have had time to check, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information to promote sound … yada yada. They are actually quite good on the historic energy facts, structurally dishonest on the forecasts, it seems. Our Depts of state are the same. Their ministers statements have little deterministic connection to the data they publish. .Seems like they are inventing the forecast numbers to suit a political agenda and breaking their own founding charter. Unless the Chinese see the error of their ways when they see this forecast of much more renewable and much less nuclear energy and change their rational policy for an undeliverable one, or they have simplky misled the dumb Yanks ? I prefer what the Chinese say they are doing to what the IRA say.

  11. Chinese environmental policy reminds me of the story of how you make love to a chaste woman. Beforehand you say nothing will happen. During you say nothing is happening, and afterwards you say nothing has happened.

  12. Where does the US EIA get these projections for China’s future energy behavior? In the histogram in the above article, we see coal booming, while wind and solar are stagnant in the past (up to 2015), then coal is supposed to decline slightly while wind and solar quadruple between 2015 and 2040.

    Why is China going to suddenly stop building coal plants and start a massive wind and solar energy program? Because they signed the Paris accord and some Five-Year Plan says so?

    Earth to EIA: the Chinese government lies, and China has never met the goals of a Five-Year Plan since the days of Mao. It’s all a gimmick for the gullible, like those beautiful facades they built in front of dilapidated hovels along avenues in Beijing when the Olympics were held there.

    The Chinese government will never do anything that’s not its own self-interest, no matter what the USA, the European Union, or the United Nations tell them they “should” do. China has four times the population of the United States and nuclear weapons, and they will do as they please. China will continue to burn coal until they run out of coal.

    • didn’t you read the link?

      They have banned new coal plants in 28 out of 29 districts and cancelled a large number under construction, plus they are retiring 20GW.

      They already stopped.

      • Griff. China has built more coal plants than they need. They are only canceling the ones they don’t need.

      • Yep even lowly wikipedia caries that
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_in_China

        The decreasing rate of construction is due to the realization that too many power plants had been built and some existing plants were being used far below capacity.

        It’s easy to say you are cancelling them in that enviroment, call us cynical but we have all had history with China.

        Right this moment China has trade bans on North Korea but then it really doesn’t when you aren’t watching.

    • The projection is rubbish. Pie in the sky stuff. It is like all model projections based upon faulty assumptions and faulty understanding of the real world.

      All the forms of energy are likely to continue through the 10 year trend (ie., 2005 to 2015 trend) but perhaps with a slight biasing to increased nuclear and hydro.

      The future projection takes no account that China will be increasing its CO2 emissions through to 2030, perhaps they will be doubling those emissions.

      The projections show a decline in energy capacity form fossil fuels which is at odds with China peeking its CO2 in 2030.

      Of course we all know that the peak will not happen in 2030, and China will continue increasing its CO2 emissions well beyond then.

      Further

      China wants to get 20 percent of its energy from solar, wind, nuclear and hydro power by 2030.

      And as Samuel C Cogar astutely observed:

      that could very well mean …… 1% from solar, …… 0.5% from wind ……. and 18.5% from nuclear and hydro.

  13. Being skeptical, I wondered if the Energy Information Administration was actually part of the government, or was it just something somebody was hosting from his mother’s basement. It’s real. Those are genuine, paid for by the taxpayer, official statistics (unless the wiki article is also fake.

    It’s hard being a skeptic. Sometimes the only thing keeping me from doubting my own existence is the constant pain in my joints.

    • Sometimes the only thing keeping me from doubting my own existence is the constant pain in my joints.

      You have company :

      I ache, therefore I am

      Marvin (the paranoid android)

  14. EIA’s projections for China’s wind/solar usage are pure fantasy…

    China is too smart to waste limited land/labor/capital on wind/solar which is 10 TIMES as expensive on a cost/kWr as Thorium reactor energy will be or 5 TIMES as expensive as coal/natural gas….

    According to the Chinese government’s recent presentation to the IAEA, they expect to have commercial Thorium reactors available by 2028…

    China LOVES to see the West squander $TRILLIONS ON insanely expensive wind/solar plants, which makes Western goods uncompetive and forces Western companies to move their production to China…

  15. Yes, China is such a better steward of the environment than the US.

    Riiight. The air in major cities is BROWN, for God’s sake! It’s a wonder to me they were allowed to host Olympics, under those conditions. There is no American city where the air is brown, period. This is why we have to have CO2 as a “major pollutant”, since it’s invisible, it’s really hard to disprove,even though it is a trace gas, and only 20-30% of it is from manmade causes.

    • Which is why they realise they have a problem and are doing something about it.

      Last century the air in US cities was brown…

      • and it stopped when oil replaced coal. Hence the current war against oil. Oh. Wait.

        Wrong. It stopped when catalytic converters and other emission control devices were installed on cars, as well as scrubbers on power plants. The share of power generation by oil in the US is .6%

      • catalytic converters? control devices on cars? scrubbers on power plants? LOL. They air had stopped being brown long before these rather new devices (a decade or little more old) appeared. You are a young lad, if you think your father lived in a brown air city. It was you great-grand father who did (or not, as he probably was just peasant).

      • And Oils share for transportation in the US is over 90%, which is a quarter of all energy used.

        You know, just in case you DIDN’T want to try cherry picking data to support your preconceived beliefs.

        <_<

      • schitzree, paqyfelc’s post was about oil replacing coal, which means power plants. So unless you have evidence that cars used to run on coal, your point is unrelated to what is being discussed here.

      • Chris,

        As usual you misunderstand and are arguing with paq about two different things.

        Los Angeles is not “U.S. cities”.

        You see the clean-up of the 60’s, with the clean air and water acts., as the only impetus. There has been ongoing response to local problems ever since there has been local problems.

        The brown air in the individual big cities was cleaned up long before the 60’s … just as the surface waters in the Chicago area stopped burning (on a regular basis) long before the 60’s.

      • When I walked to school in the UK in 1953 I had to hold onto the front garden fences until I got to the entrance a few houses down. That was ended very quickly, we banned coal burning, and in fact open fires at all for heating, and most peo[ple switched to gas for both water and space heating. That worked out really well when natural gas was found under the Nortnh Sea, and now agaid in the massive shale fields under the UK mainland. We really are getting a triple whammy on the original gas infrastructure put into our cities n Victorian era to distribute coal gas (Carbon monoxide plus hydrogen syngas from memory, poisonous and explosive, so you could gas yourself and bring the house down on top of you when they came to find out why you were not around). . And we get a double whammy from the trunk supplies for CCGT power stations for safer CH4 natural gas later. Thanks for the fracking tech .USA, buys us time to get nuclear power right with an intense, easy to deliver, cheap, clean and low carbon interim energy source.

      • schitzree, paqyfelc’s post was about oil replacing coal, which means power plants. So unless you have evidence that cars used to run on coal, your point is unrelated to what is being discussed here.

        Ohhh, I see. So your comment about when catalytic converters and other emission control devices were installed on cars, and scrubbers on power plants, was just a non sequitur. Because that all happened DECADES after the significant switch from Coal to Oil.

        Or maybe your comment on Oil only having a 0.6% share of power generation was the non sequitur, because that’s what it is at NOW, (for Electrical Generation only) not when major pollution controls where added in the 70’s OR when Oil took over a major share of energy production back in the late 1800’s.

        Actually, I’m pretty sure your whole post was a non sequitur. It didn’t have anything to do with why the air in US cities was brown last century, or what changed that. That was clearly the result of a major change from coal to oil for heating, transportation, and energy production. Kind of like paqyfelyc hinted at.

        ~¿~

      • @schitzree @DonM @brianrlcatt
        thank you, you prove me that i could be understood. Of course i didn’t meant power plants, as Chris fouls himself just to stubbornly uphold his beliefs, i meant urban heating.
        Chris is just hopeless, he think the civilized world began when he was born, and people before 1968 were plain idiots who didn’t care about their on health. Well, they were not. Of course they knew that coal smoke made them sick, but they also knew that cold would kill them quicker and couldn’t afford a better fuel than coal. As soon as they got rich enough they switched away from coal heating, and air quality improved dramatically in cities.

      • paqyfelyc said “of course I meant home heating.”

        yeah, “of course”

        And you said: “Of course they knew that coal smoke made them sick, but they also knew that cold would kill them quicker and couldn’t afford a better fuel than coal. As soon as they got rich enough they switched away from coal heating, and air quality improved dramatically in cities.”

        Wrong, the switch happened due to rising coal prices and a decline in the price of oil and natural gas. From a paper on the history of home heating: “Prior to 1945, temperature and proximity to bituminous deposits were the major determinants of the use of bituminous coal for heating. After 1945, coal use for heating fell rapidly. Coal strikes caused the price of coal to rise. At the same time, the price of oil and natural gas fell as shipping became available to move heating oil and new long-distance pipelines began to move natural gas. Changing prices and the availability of low-cost conversion units for heating stoves and furnaces led to rapid switching. By 1959, only 12 percent of households used coal for home heating.”

      • schitztree said: “Actually, I’m pretty sure your whole post was a non sequitur. It didn’t have anything to do with why the air in US cities was brown last century, or what changed that. That was clearly the result of a major change from coal to oil for heating, transportation, and energy production.”

        Coal for transportation? Except for trains, that is incorrect.Or please educate me about all the coal fired trucks and cars that criss crossed the US in the early 20th century. Coal to oil for energy production? Nope, that is wrong, oil has never been a major component in energy production. Ever.
        https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31232

        So you’re wrong on 2 out of the 3 points you made.

      • DonM – September 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

        The brown air in the individual big cities was cleaned up long before the 60’s

        DonM, …… don’t be talking the “trash” that your miseducation made you a believer of.

        Fer sure, t’was about 1965 that the air over the City of Los Angeles was so densely packed with “brown” particulate pollution which was reflecting the Sunlight and I could not see the “city” from 20K feet elevation when looking out the window of the airplane I was in. At about 10K feet I began to see the buildings and roadways.

      • as i said, Chris is just hopeless. He even quotes something that proves me right, and says it proves me wrong %*P

  16. All you need to know is that there is money in CAGW for China. Just like the left, government bureaucrats, and grant seekers in the USA.

      • They have to work for that, and instead look like the good guys if they take the free stuff. That’s what. Don’t be intentionally ignorant.

      • Lol, and your comment is informed? Give me a break. You have no clue about grants, for starters. Acceptance rates on applications are normally less than 1 in 5. Regarding renewable energy projects, if there is a feed in tariff for solar or wind, it doesn’t lessen the work to choose a site, get the necessary approvals, negotiate PPAs, and build the project.

      • The money in fossil fuels comes from providing a product that the consumers want.
        The money in renewables comes from milking the politicians for subsidies.
        If you can’t see the difference, you must be a leftist.

      • MarkW,

        Go ahead and tell the CEOs of the most powerful companies in the world that they are all leftists. They are demanding renewable energy for their operations. Oh, and as always, you ignore the externalities of fossil fuel generated power. Even if one ignores CO2 emissions, the health care costs due to fossil fuels run into the 10s of billions each year.

      • The health benefits from available EFFICIENT energy are greater than the downside of the current system.

        Spend 100’s of Billions on energy supply … create 10’s of Billions on estimated peripheral benefits.

        How ’bout you try get the 100’s of Billions directly from the those that would reap the estimated benefit.. See far you would get.

  17. The Guardian writer is all for the efficiencies of command economies run by engineers and experts. “They are used to centralized governments” than can make things happen. Just raze housing to make space for the Olympics, ignore the fate of the evicted, and imprison dissenters. Human rights, federalism and democracy are so bothersome. But, whoopee, they have free health care.

  18. ivankinsman,
    China is merely doing what every other industrialized nation does sooner or later – cleaning up the mess. Britain started it with the industrial revolution over two hundred years ago, and in doing so managed to foul just about every major river and convert large areas of the country to slagheaps. This is phase one – creating the industrial infrastructure. Phase two, which blends in with phase one, consists of becoming a wealthy nation as a result of that industrialization. Phase three consists of spending some of that wealth to clean up the mess caused by the first two phases. Most of Europe and North America has already done this.

    The only difference with China is that it is doing the whole process in two or three generations, whereas it took most European nations about ten generations.

    The Guardian article you reference reads as a puff piece with very little hard information as to what China is actually doing to clean up its mess. The Guardian may consider their protagonist a highly-regarded lawyer, but he comes across in the article as an international ambulance chaser.

  19. This article, as Exhibit A in proving that China does not care about global warming, puts up a chart that shows that virtually all of the 50% growth in energy generation capacity in China over the next 20+ years is going to come from solar, wind and an increase in nuclear power.

    • So they say. And Chinese gov is SO trustworthy, it couldn’t be otherwise, could it ?
      And they start tomorrow, but as for now, well, BAU.

      • This is from IEA, not China. You can see the growth in solar and wind in the last 10 years. Why is it so hard to believe they will continue that trend? Solar and wind prices are coming down quickly. That is not true for coal fired plants.

      • Oh, ye. IEA. Obama’s.
        Well.
        Listen, this is nothing to do whether it is desirable or not. Because you think it is, shouldn’t suffice to have you believe it will happen. People who makes you believe your dream will come true are not usually good intended to you, you know, especially when they depend on your input.

      • “casting shade”, say the guy who just do nothing but that…
        As i said above, a graph who present power (W) is meant to deceive, and the people that made this lie to you. This is fact, not “casting shade”

  20. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the bargraph in the article is quite misleading. It shows the installed capacity, not the energy that can be produced. The stated capacity of a plant is normally its peak capacity (name plate). For coal, nuclear and gas the average capacity over a year is around 85 – 95 % of the nameplate capacity, due to fuel change, maintenance and repairs. Hydro close to 100 %. Solar plants nameplates are normally peak power, i.e. with an insolation of 1000 W/m**2. Thus, it is hard to see that the average over a year can be much higher than 25 % of the nameplate capacity. Wind has an average over a year of around 25 – 35 % of their nameplate capacity, due to too little wind, too much wind, maintenance and repairs.

    A better way of showing the importance of the different energy sources would be to show their energy production per year, in TWhours.

    • This was the best I could find on where the actual energy used in china came from, as opposed to how much ‘capacity’ has been built.

      It’s hard looking up this kind of data. The net is clogged with rampant speculation offered as fact. Nothing but article after article praising China for what they haven’t even started to do.

      >¿<

  21. Lost in this commentary is that coal will be replaced by nat gas / LNG. It will reduce CO2 emissions but China has a real problem with coal fired pollution ( anyone remember Beijing Olympics?) Nat gas will address this with the additional benefit of they can play the West on being leaders fighting AGW, thus further encouraging further economic suicide of the West & improving China’s economic prospects. It is quite ingenious if you think about.

    • What I’ve read is that China doesn’t have a lot of natural gas deposits. It is building gas-from-coal plants in Inner Mongolia andf pipelines to reduce particulate pollution in cities to the east, but the syngas creation method generates more CO2 than just burning the coal would.

  22. The idea that converting from fossil fuels electricity power plants to hydroelectric or nuclear is just as bad as solar and wind. The creation of Cement is the second largest contributor of Carbon Dioxide to the actual burning of the fossil fuels. Add the burning of fossil fuels mining and transporting the raw materials to the kiln that roasts it and then the mixing with sand, rock and water to the transportation of it to the site to pour it, where it was first prepared by construction using fossil fuels. Each step adding more CO2 now to reduce future CO2 emissions. It takes adding more CO2 in every type of construction of electricity generators in the present for future use. The thought that they are saving the planet is bass acward. When this added CO2 is actually helping the environment become greener and the miniscule warming their alarmist scare tactics scream as doom and gloom fail to recognize the benefits they are doing by increasing CO2 now. Just like they created the most CO2 INCREASE by forcing the automotive industry to convert Carbon Monoxide into Carbon Dioxide to reduce smog here in the USA and yet most countries do not do it and it took some countries a decade later to do it.

    As a side note… I was looking at a few alarmist websites and they actually say that Carbon Dioxide is killing plant’s. Not fertilizer. But poisonous to plant’s. Sorry my phone makes it hard to give link’s.

  23. my biggest problem with the Graph at the top from the EIA isn’t the fact it projects a sudden major change in trend lines starting next year, (although that is stupid) it’s that it also shows a sudden change in trend of how much energy is supposed to be produced TOTAL.

    The Historic part of the graph shows a continuous trend of adding about 100 GW each year. But for the Projected part of the graph it drops to adding about 30 GW each year.

    Srsly? We’re supposed to believe that after a decade of constant growth China is suddenly going to drop to a growth rate 1/3rd of that? For the next 25 years, at least?

    I know there’s been speculation that China has been pushing their growth faster then they can sustain it, but that is a HUGE drop, especially for a nation that still has a significantly lower level of Average Energy per Capita compared to many developed nations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption

    Personally, I’d be shocked if we see a drop below 70GW added per Year, at least for the next decade.

  24. That EIA graphic of China’s electric generation by source is surely pure fantasy.

    If you remove wind and solar lines, it suggests that total baseload dispatchable power sources will only rise from 1.4 TW to 1.55 TW between 2017 and 2040.

    China’s leaders are not that stupid. That EIA graphic was made to sell a false narrative, and is thus purely propaganda.

  25. I think they care. At least about the continued propaganda, because, near as I can tell, the only ‘solutions’ involve hamstringing their biggest global competitors, with their own compromise being that they promise they will really, truly, seriously, hamstring themselves sometime in the future.

  26. China is only too happy to play the “carbon” game. And laughs all the way to the bank at Western stupidity.

  27. The Greens adoration of China , despite an awful environment record let alone human rights one. Merely shows their Watermelon nature, anything not Western = good,if it can be viewed as anti-west even better.
    Odd that if has claimed AGW is the most important thing ever with no time to lose. They would put political ideology ahead of the planet.

  28. “… energy experts don’t think the communist nation will actually do much to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.”

    Could we perhaps stop pretending that China is somehow a “communist” nation?

    • sure, as soon as we stop pretending that the Communist Party isn’t communist, that is, communist isn’t communist. Well. Why not.

    • Just because China and it’s methods of enforcing conformity reminds you of the Democratic Party in the US doesn’t mean they aren’t communists.

      • I equate it with what President Trump said about Venezuela. “It’s not that socialism failed. It’s that it was faithfully implemented.” Socialism is Socialism…Communism, Democratic Socialism and Fascism are still based on a totalitarian Centralization of Government. And frankly the USA has not been a Free Enterprise system since FDR brought Fascism here with his New Deal and it has morphed into full Fascism since then.

      • I equate it with what President Trump said about Venezuela. “It’s not that socialism failed. It’s that it was faithfully implemented.” Socialism is Socialism…Communism, Democratic Socialism and Fascism are still based on a totalitarian Centralization of Government. And frankly the USA has not been a Free Enterprise system since FDR brought Fascism here with his New Deal and it has morphed into full Fascism since then.

  29. China simply has a different approach to all this mess. In their long recorded history they have been through “climate change” several times. They have learned that there is little we can do about climate change regardless of the cause. They realize the best approach to climate change is to be able to adapt, prepare for whatever climate change might bring. Therefore it is better to be a rich nation than a poor or deeply indebted nation. Meanwhile in the USA since WWII we have moved millions of people to the coast, allowed people to build in well known flood plains, and generally move into harms way. In 1959 Florida had 3 million people, most of whom lived in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Pensacola. Today there are over 20 million residents and generally double that during the height of tourist season. Yet we know from Japan’s example, you can build to standards that withstand regular hits by cat 3 and above tropical cyclones. Hurricane Andrew demonstrated that we just weren’t paying attention. Remember Reagan’s most hate by the environmentalists Secretary of Interior, James Watt. He tried to warn against the problems we have seen manifest the past six weeks. He was shouted down.

    • You cannot say that “They have learned that there is little we can do about climate change regardless of the cause. “. The whole Chinese mythical history is about coping with impossible challenge. They tamed flood of mighty rivers, build road through mountain a stone after another, constructed the great wall, and recently build the Three Gorges Dam.
      If they thought that climate change was a real danger to them (them, not the “planet”) , and could be prevented by some sort of great work, they would do it. But, first thing first, and for sure climate change is low, low, low in their priority. They have to cope with current climate, first.

  30. I would simply refer my honourable friends to the answer and graphic I gave earlier, re who is building all the nuclear power stations.

    Also this if I didn’t before: You can believe what you like, but this is what their declared strategy is, they are investing heavilly in secure refined Uranium supplies as well, to ensure they can fuel the expanded fleet as it grows, and will soon be selling their own PWR copies to the developing world, such a Kazakstan as mentioned below, how the world will become developed by default of the Malthusian green’s extremist beliefs – using nuclear power from China and Russia, under IAEA rules and inspections.

    Both regimes are still developing internally so are well placed to help the 3rd World culturally, and are not hamstrung in the devloping countries by massive bureaucracies scared of every move or change, based on problems that have already been understood and ameliorated in the Westren designs they have built, improved and copied in the Chinese case, and they happy to deal with the selfish nonsenses of the privileged “green” elites of 1st World colonisers, who are quickly, and rightly, suppressed.

    The few in the WEst will not hold back the progess to health, wealth and happiness of Billions, using all the nuclear energy and GM crops you can eat. They have no power or influence where this will happen fastest and with most impact on human development.

    The limits to growth are what humans care to engineer, and infant survival has already taken care of birth rate increase, we just have to get to a developed 10 or 11 billion, well fed and powered.

    Renewables are self evidently not energetic enough energy sources to deliver this, expesnive as real time supply and and massivly overpriced with storage. Facts of physics, which Russia and China have understood long ago.

    I expect China to start burning a lot more gas, if they can find it and once the pipeline infrastructure is built, as the WEst has done. Coal mines are a convenient way to kick off an industrial economy, fuelling nearby power stations, then by road and rail. Gas pipelines are so much better with no transport links required, no waste products, 60% less C02/MWh and no significant emissions of any polluting or toxic gasses, just CO2 and water vapour, essential for life through the carbon and water cycles. etc.

    The West did coal until the mid-late 20th Century, when we could finally clean our cities. The moors in the Penines made your clothes black if you went for walk in the heather, etc. The Third World will have less of that getting to where we are, with cleaner coal, plus the CCGT gas and nuclear technology we have already developed and improved, and they will develop further. The Russians already have the first serious production fast fission/ low spent fuel/high burn fission reactor. etc. The world won’t wait for the scared of progress, whose lucky privileged deny what they have to others without it. etc.

    Here:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-08/01/content_30312378.htm

    and Here:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/07/content_14223281.htm

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