Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t JoNova – according to Grist China is secretly continuing construction work on new coal plants, despite public statements that the coal plants have been cancelled.
China said it was done with these coal plants. Satellite imagery shows otherwise.
By Nathanael Johnson
on Sep 25, 2018
Newly released satellite photos appear to show continuing construction of coal plants that China said it was cancelling last year, according to CoalSwarm.
“This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming,” said Ted Nace, head of CoalSwarm, the nonprofit research network which analyzed and released the satellite images. “The planet can’t tolerate another U.S.-sized block of plants to be built.”
Experts said the images provide credible evidence that China is still building more coal-fired plants than its government claims. Take a look at these shots, the first from January 2017 and the second from this February.
In January 2017, China announced that it was canceling more than 100 coal plantsacross 13 provinces. At the time, a researcher familiar with Chinese politics said that regional officials might try to skirt the central government’s order.
“Some projects might have been ongoing for 10 years, and now there’s an order to stop them,” Lin Boqiang, an energy policy researcher at Xiamen University in southeastern China, told the New York Times. “It’s difficult to persuade the local governments to give up on them.”
Late last year China was forced to reactivate mothballed coal plants, after a botched Communist Party directive to switch to gas left large numbers of people shivering in unheated homes in the middle of Winter. Perhaps China’s regional governments have had enough of their national government’s energy planning incompetence.