China’s carbon reduction target looks elusive as banks keep throwing cash at coal mines and power plants, undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels

From The South China Morning Post

China commissioned 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants in 2020, three times the 11.9GW fired up by the rest of the world60 of the world’s largest banks lent or underwrote US$752 billion of debt or equity issuances to the fossil fuel industry last year

Eric Ng

Eric Ng

Published: 10:00am, 3 Apr, 2021

On an unseasonably warm autumn day last October, the world’s largest coal-fired power plant fired up in the Anhui provincial city of Huaibei in eastern China.

Sitting in an economic development zone carved out of verdant paddy fields, phase two of Shenergy Group’s Pingshan power plant is installed with 1,350 megawatts of generation capacity, enough to meet the annual needs of 1.1 million households. Almost four years after receiving the construction approval, the plant was formally connected to the national grid in mid-December.The plant, boasting state-of-the-art technology that requires only 251 grams – a global record for efficiency – of coal for each unit of electricity generated, was hailed as a “national demonstration project” by local authorities and the media. Firing it up 12 weeks after President Xi Jinping’s surprise pledge at the United Nations General Assembly for China to become carbon neutral by 2060, it also sits uncomfortably as a reminder that the world’s second-largest economy needs to walk a fine line between its environmental commitments and its development needs.

The Chinese government and the nation’s state-owned power producers have set aggressive goals on renewable energy, but plans to retire or rein back coal-powered plants – they produce a third of China’s carbon emission – failed to keep up. China commissioned 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants in 2020, three times the 11.9GW fired up by the rest of the world, according to a February report by the Global Energy Monitor in San Francisco and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Helsinki.

After accounting for shutdowns, China’s net addition last year was 29.8GW, compared with the world’s net reduction of 17.2GW. The pace of construction approvals have also tripled to 36.9GW last year alone, five times more than those initiated outside China, according to the report.

“That has put the central government’s emphasis on new climate commitment in a bad light,” said Greenpeace East Asia’s climate and energy project manager Zhang Kai in Beijing.

SCMP Graphics

SCMP GraphicsAhead of the Earth Day leaders’ summit on climate change scheduled for April 22, researchers are doubtful that China can meet Xi’s pledge for carbon dioxide emissions to peak before 2030. The world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases committed during the 2016 Paris Agreement to increase the share of non-fossil fuel to 20 per cent by 2030, from 15.3 per cent in 2020. Xi doubled down on that commitment, increasing the contribution target by wind and solar power to 25 per cent of total energy generation, or 1,200GW, by 2030.

“If the central government allows the current levels of coal plant development to be maintained, it will at best divert important resources away from its clean energy transition, and at worst make China’s carbon neutral goals difficult if not impossible to achieve,” said the Global Energy Monitor-CREA report.

China’s coal mines, coal-fired power plants are still growing, funded by an endless stream of cheap financing by the nation’s state-owned banks, as they keep one of the country’s biggest industrial sectors humming amid an economic slowdown. Millions of jobs and trillions of yuan of assets are at stake in the coal industry.

SCMP Graphics

SCMP Graphics

The nation’s big five state-owned power firms, generating more than half of China’s coal-fired electricity – State Energy Investment Group, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Group, China Huadian Group and State Power Investment Group – employ 2 million people, and have 5.5 trillion yuan (US$836 billion) of assets between them.

As many as 60 of the world’s largest banks lent or underwrote US$752 billion of debt or equity issuances to the fossil fuel industry last year, down by 9 per cent from 2019 but 6 per cent higher than 2016 when the Paris Agreement took effect, according to a March 24 study by six non-government organisations (NGOs) including the Rainforest Action Network and BankTrack.

“The overall fossil fuel financing trend of the last five years is still heading definitively in the wrong direction, reinforcing the need for banks to establish policies that lock in the fossil fuel financing declines of 2020,” the coalition said.

SCMP Graphics

SCMP Graphics

American and Canadian banks led almost half of the US$3.8 trillion in global fossil fuel financing deals over the past five years. European, UK, Chinese and Japanese financial institutions pale in comparison, but their financing volume rose during the period, with Chinese financing rising by a third to almost US$160 billion, according to the data.

While US banks are among the biggest oil and gas funders, Chinese financial institutions lead on coal mining and coal-fired power plants financing. This was echoed by findings from a separate research by 29 NGOs including Urgewald and Reclaim Finance, which tracked loans provided by 380 banks, as well as stock and bond issuances underwritten by 427 financial institutions that helped sustained 934 coal mines and power producers.

Japanese banks are the top lenders, while Chinese financial institutions are the biggest shares and bond underwriters to coal companies, the NGOs said.

Read the full article here

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April 5, 2021 10:11 am

China’s “plan” to reduce emission is to reduce everyone else’s, destroy the West and let them thrive.

Reply to  Pauleta
April 5, 2021 10:31 am

Uncle Xi’s plan is even worse than Uncle Joey’s plan….bur in either case – watch what they do rather than what they say.

Reply to  Anti-griff
April 5, 2021 10:44 am

Watching people celebrating Xi’s green promises uncomfortably reminds me of 1930s appeasement. It was a pipe dream then an it’s a pipe dream now.

Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 4:07 pm

In the 1930s The UK was weak & over stretched & there was great resistance to re-arming from both the British public & parliament (for yrs requests for equipment were rejected or cut by 50%) plus many admired what Hitler was doing, (Winston Churchill, typically gugn-ho, wanted to start the fight in 1938 ) if the Germans had invaded the UK in 1938 we could not have defended our-self’s.

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement strategy (The Munich Agreement 1938) gave us 11 mths to start mobilising for war & building the planes that saved us from Nazi invasion.

Immediately after Munich, Chamberlain went surreptitiously (& against the will of parliament) to the major UK manufactures & told them to secretly tool up for war, but even with that head start we were totaly ill-equiped when we declared war Sept 3rd 1939.

The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) under General Lord Gort moved into France (4 September 1939 to 10 May 1940 the Phoney War)
04:35. 10 May for 11days the BEF & French were overwhelmed by superior troops & equipment – the alies were using equipment designed for WW1 & cavalry … against Panzers.
A complete rout.
Thats why Dunkirk happened.

Reply to  saveenergy
April 6, 2021 1:09 am

Not so. The French had more tanks than the Germans, they just used them the wrong way. The Maginot line was the right idea… For the era it was built but the obstinate Belgians meant it was easy to bypass.

Reply to  Duker
April 7, 2021 5:29 pm

Yes they had more ‘tanks’ but many of which were little more than 1 or 2 man armored cars on tracks designed in 1920s to support infantry, max speed ~12mph.
France had 3,063 tanks, and the other Allies a few more, for a total of 3,384, many of them light tanks with inadequate firepower. Germany had 2,445 tanks, most of them more modern than the French vehicles.
in May 1940 – Of the medium tank SOMUA S35, only 288 were in service + 32 Char heavy tanks & a mix of light tanks – Hotchkiss H35, Renault FT-31s & 900 Renault 35s.

The Allies had nearly 14,000 guns against 7,378 for Germany, but much of the Allied firepower was obsolescent. Particularly lacking were antitank and antiaircraft artillery.
The total of Allied fighters and bombers available was 1,590 and 708, respectively. Germany substantially outmatched these totals with 1,736 fighters (of which 1,220 were operational at the commencement of battle) and 2,224 bombers (of which 1,559 were operational). The German aircraft, especially the fighters, were of the most advanced type for their day and easily outclassed the Allied planes.

Last edited 1 year ago by 1saveenergy
Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Anti-griff
April 5, 2021 3:45 pm

The problem is Xi can remember what his plan is. Uncle Joe can be told anything.

David A
Reply to  Anti-griff
April 5, 2021 3:54 pm

The headline makes it sound like Xi can’t stop the coal industry from building, ” those evil banks keep giving coal developers funds.”

Reply to  David A
April 6, 2021 1:11 am

They don’t have enough steaming coal resources and have to import it along with coking coal for steel and coal for cement production

Reply to  Pauleta
April 5, 2021 11:59 am

there is a Chinese proverb that goes something like this
‘Clever and scheming lie is when you tell truth to someone who doesn’t believe you.’

April 5, 2021 10:35 am

Sometimes I feel like hiding in a hole in the ground … a lavishly appointed hole … but a hole nevertheless.

I am very uneasy about China’s future because of its looming demographic meltdown. link China has a massive debt and continues to pile it on. So, what happens when the working population rapidly decreases? There is China 4-2-1. Four grandparents, two parents, one worker. That’s the nightmare for the next couple of decades.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 11:20 am

Very trenchant observation. And though it is tempting to celebrate this weakness in a potential adversary, unstable countries make unpredictable enemies. That will cost us treasure and, possibly in the future, lives.

Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 11:47 am

This is no problem. Gastarbeiter will come.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 1:29 pm

Doesn’t really solve the problem as these people remit wages home.

And with the CCP penchant for slave labor, in general people will be pretty leery of heading off to China to work

Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 6:21 pm

That’s Gastarbeitern ( plural ) , one Gastarbeiter will not do anything.

Reply to  Greg
April 5, 2021 10:42 pm

Greg, (Gast)arbeiter is plural (and singular too). Arbeitern is dative plural. I speak German fluently, studied in Austria.

mark stevens
Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 12:40 pm
Teddy lee
Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 4:05 pm

Who’s betting against a lab leek solution. COVID 32 anybody!

Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2021 5:38 pm

The debt is only a problem if you intend to repay it and the nightmare is only for the non CCP members (not all pigs are equal).

Reply to  LdB
April 5, 2021 8:08 pm

Indeed. Chinese debt could be a big problem for us.

If you owe the bank $1000, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank a billion dollars, the positions are reversed.


Reply to  commieBob
April 6, 2021 9:11 pm

Robot labor. Autonomous vehicles. That’s why China is building 6,000, 000 5G base stations… this is the AI infrastructure for an artificial labor force to work beside a reduced population.

Steve Case
April 5, 2021 10:38 am

Does the new plant have state of the art pollution controls? The air in China is nasty. You can taste the smog and you can’t see what’s going on the the square seven stories below from your hotel room window. My quick read through didn’t come with answers to those concerns. All I saw was a bunch of crap about “carbon” neutral/reduction/emissions etc.

Steve Case
Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 11:39 am

Thanks for the reply and link, I didn’t see much in there about smog. Well actually nothing as the word didn’t appear. There was more blather about carbon emissions and even sequestration which is entirely without merit. Maybe they do have bag houses and electrostatic scrubbers but there wasn’t any mention of those things or anything like it in your link. It did say that the Chinese are outraged at the pollution and it said they needed to make that a priority, but I didn’t see where it’s actually being done. The term “Word Salad” comes to mind.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 5, 2021 11:45 am

“Starting in 2014, China implemented standards on conventional air pollutants that are “stronger than the comparable standards from the European Union and the United States.””
comment image

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 12:53 pm

What that Leftist reporting fails (intentionally) to acknowledge is the key elements of enforcement and compliance reporting. Standards don’t matter if they are not enforced. Inspection-Enforcement doesn’t matter unless plants are required to submit and certify regular compliance reports to enforcement agencies> Reporting doesn’t matter if there is widespread cheating and/or misreporting and low penalties for cheating when caught.

In North America and Europe, there is rigorous documented enforcement and compliance reporting on those emissions standards. And the penalties are severe for misreporting, and criminal charges can be brought when corruption is involved.

A PNAS published study from 2014, which looked at China’s emissions reduction reported after control and reporting regimes were introduced suggested widespread misreporting” of emissions data from the Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) that all large emitters were required to install.

A few Conclusions from the study:

“Reductions recorded by CEMS were large: Average SO2 emissions concentrations at power plants were 13.9% lower after the policy deadline. The absence of a change in satellite measurements at key regions’ plants around the policy deadline is suggestive of misreporting. Prior studies documenting efforts to improve SO2 policy enforcement in China have raised questions about the quality of the CEMS data (see, for example, refs. 7 and 20). Penalties for falsifying data have historically been lower than those for violating the standard. Regulations initially offered neither detailed guidance on CEMS reporting requirements, instructions on how to identify falsification cases, nor a schedule of associated penalties for reporting violations.”

What the above says is the Chinese plants were cheating the reported CEMS data, evidenced by low correspondence to the objective satellite-based monitoring measures.

“Many plants, especially in key regions, likely required substantial changes to their pollution removal technology or operational practices to meet the tighter standards. Despite a large drop in SO2 emissions concentrations, many firms ultimately fell short. As of June 2016, nearly half of the plants in key regions had not complied with the strictest new standard, and many smaller plants did not have CEMS installed.

What the above says many plants were not even attempting to follow the new standards. And they were getting away with it because penalties for getting caught were lower than compliance.

So Edim, believe whatever junk propaganda you want the spews out of the American Progress thinktank and other Libtard outlets. Go ahead and breathlessly accept the propaganda and keep drinking that Liberal koolaid.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Steve Case
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 5, 2021 1:02 pm

The problem with propaganda is it’s difficult for ordinary people to know where the truth actually resides. You’re reduced to reading between the lines and noting what’s missing and noting the politics and vested interests of the people promulgating the reports. There needs to be a fair and objective press if there ever was one, but today it seems it’s decidedly one sided.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 12:26 pm

Not surprisingly, the folks at Vox confused “efficiency” with “cleaner emissions”. Pretty much anything and everything that comes from Vox is garbage reporting.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 5, 2021 12:51 pm

Just ignore “carbon” bullshit. High efficiency and supercritical/ultra-supercritical technology is good – more energy for the same amount of coal. Furthermore, all these modern plants are also low emissions (pollution). There is very good correlation between efficiency od coal fired power plants and low pollution. Ignore CO2 bullshit.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 5, 2021 1:06 pm

‘China Is Not Far Behind.In China, a government crackdown to shackle rampant air pollution and shutter small, aging, and less-efficient coal plants, as well as soaring investments in research and development (R&D) of advanced coal technology, have transformed its energy sector, the IEA says. The country’s coal-fired fleet has an average operational efficiency of 38.6%—higher than the average across IEA member countries. R&D, notably, allowed the country to design and build the double-reheat 1,000-MW ultrasupercritical Guodian Taizhou II Unit 3, the IEA says. The unit has been in operation since September 2015, and it reaches an efficiency of 47.82%, the highest globally for a double-reheat plant. The IEA also notes: “Every Chinese power plant is equipped with [particulate matter] and SO2 control equipment, and almost all have NOx removal devices. All coal-fired plants will have to be ultra-low-emission by 2020.””

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Edim
April 5, 2021 7:56 pm

The COVID-19 virus came from a Wuhan wet market, not a Chinese govt lab release… and the WHO leadership, in the backpocket of CCP, backs up the Chinese govt claims.

Keep drinking that Koolaid Edim. Must be some good stuff.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 5, 2021 9:37 pm

Joel, you believe in the covid bs and bring up koolaid? Embarrassing.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 5, 2021 6:26 pm

Yes, this is typical western liberal crap.
China is replacing older polluting ( real pollution ) power plants because they know they have a real pollution problem. As a side effect of cleaning up and improving efficiency with modern technology, they have the unintended side effect of being more “carbon efficient”.

Tom Halla
April 5, 2021 10:39 am

But of course the green blob will point to how much wind and solar the PRC is adding, and claim the Chinese are transitioning to renewables.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 5, 2021 2:16 pm

China is actually leading the world in green house gas reductions (35% reduction over ten years) and completely in compliance with the Copenhagen Agreement:
comment image

So, even if China is going massive on coal, and building hundreds of new domestic coal plants, and thousands around the world, it does not matter, as they are achieving their numbers!!! Possibly they have figured out how to burn coal cleanly or have developed some groundbreaking (actuarial?) method of “adjusting” their emissions? (lol)

Anyway, nothing to see here. (yawn)

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Juan Slayton
Reply to  Anon
April 5, 2021 5:21 pm

“Mon, Apr 4, 2011”

Anon, do you know how the Gregorian calendar works? This is 2021….

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Juan Slayton
April 5, 2021 5:34 pm

Maybe I should have assumed a /sarc/ tag above. If so, I apologize.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
April 5, 2021 5:41 pm

Yeah, sorry about that. But just illustrating the type of “green blob” reporting that we can expect out of the COP26. If this was what it was like ten years ago, without Greta on the scene…

April 5, 2021 11:05 am

I find this hard to follow–

“While US banks are among the biggest oil and gas funders, Chinese financial institutions lead on coal mining and coal-fired power plants financing…”

“Japanese banks are the top lenders, while Chinese financial institutions are the biggest shares and bond underwriters to coal companies,”

It’s interesting but if I try to explain what it means–there aren’t any take away points that I can genuinely understand–

A clear summary describing what it means–(are the banks bad? are US banks bad? is it the Japanese? Are the Chinese financial genesis?) if might be helpful for us mentally financially challenged types.

Reply to  Shelly
April 5, 2021 5:46 pm

Let me leftist translate for you … white and male equals bad and entitled. So now most US bankers are likely white and male so that means you need to multiply their bad score. It doesn’t matter if they are in the middle of a large pack they get boosted ahead based on entitlement boosted value. Chinese and Japanese bankers work the reverse they get ethnicity offsets. So that is how a group of US bankers burst from the pack to be the worst ever.

That is the clear concise leftist policy … got it.

Last edited 1 year ago by LdB
Reply to  LdB
April 6, 2021 3:58 pm

Thanks LbD–that cleared it up for me! LOL

Kevin A
April 5, 2021 11:06 am

When everyone else is ‘Green’ they will have to import everything since it will be pennies on the dollar if the dollar is even still around, meanwhile the pollution from China will blacken the sky, everywhere.

Reply to  Kevin A
April 5, 2021 12:05 pm

You know what they say: Black sky at night, sailor take fright. Black sky in the morning, sailers are snoring.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Kevin A
April 5, 2021 2:20 pm

The head article is about CO2 emissions.
Carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless and therefore cannot ‘blacken the sky’ anywhere (Maybe the comment was satirical).

Douglas Burton
April 5, 2021 11:27 am

“China’s carbon reduction target looks elusive as banks keep throwing cash at coal mines and power plants, undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels”
We are supposed to believe that the Chinese Communist Party is not getting exactly what they want?

Ron Long
April 5, 2021 11:27 am

China owns the Biden Crime Family. They will say or do anything that furthers their interests. Anyone that believes they are actually planning for carbon net-neutral by 2060 is not thinking clearly. China is close to invading Taiwan, which they call the Rogue Province. Do you think Biden will honor the mutual-defense treaty with Taiwan? Coca-Cola? Don’t get me started.

April 5, 2021 11:34 am

I don’t think bank’s have any business challenging a borrower’s decision to transition out of poverty by building a coal fired power plant. As long as all the usual financial due diligence is done, green shirts have no business dictating investment. Shareholders need to be aware that most wind and solar installations will never last their inflated lifetimes and become instant liabilities if the political climate changes even slightly and the mandated use of those supposedly cheap sources of electricity is removed.

Reply to  PCman999
April 6, 2021 4:06 pm

PCman999, You may not think “bank’s have any business challenging a borrower’s decision to transition out of poverty by building a coal fired power plant” but they are now making it their business to challenge people who don’t maintain a good Environmental Sustainability score–they’ll be put out of business in the west for not complying to the insanity while third world countries can act and do business with impunity. Welcome to the new reset.

April 5, 2021 11:47 am

Why is the media so gentle with China even when it’s obviously playing them for fools?
“.. undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels..” Does he really have a plan for slashing fossil fuel use, or just a speech saying so? He promised to reduce the fraction that coal power represents, but if a lot of high nameplate wind turbines and solar farms are built out in the boonies, not even hooked up to the grid, while new super-critical coal plants replace old inefficient ones, is that really planning to cut out coal. If they build up their grid in the coming decades to much higher than they need and will have a declining population as well (that will have all the comforts that cheap reliable fossil fuel energy gives) then won’t it be easy to have declining emissions? (especially when one factors in all the nuclear reactors that they are building and planning). Why are the red communists so much more sensible than the green communists?

Reply to  PCman999
April 5, 2021 5:48 pm

Obviously the pay is good.

April 5, 2021 11:48 am

Did Tom Steyer invest ??

April 5, 2021 12:08 pm

It’s the Ed Markey “Who could have known?” excuse in Mandarin.

April 5, 2021 12:21 pm

That was your biggest mistake. You trusted us!

Gordon A. Dressler
April 5, 2021 12:38 pm

From the top level title above: “. . . undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels.”

Excuse me, but April 1 was four days ago.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 5, 2021 5:49 pm

Old chineese proverb … You only have to say it, you don’t have to actually do it.

April 5, 2021 12:51 pm


‘When Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan met top Chinese officials in Alaska just before Mr. Biden unveiled his plan, they purposely constructed the conversation so the first item on the agenda was a description of domestic initiatives. That allowed them to tell the Chinese what the administration was doing to fight the coronavirus—and what it intended to do to build up its competitive position. U.S. officials worry China sees the U.S. in a long-term state of decline and will act accordingly, and perhaps recklessly, as a result. They are eager to head off that impression, and the infrastructure program is a key part of that effort.’

The Chinese are not persuaded by Biden and his clown appointees, especially Kerry. They can also do the math and see that the infrastrucre stimulus plan is mostly not stimulus and the road sand bridges portion alone is 5% of the total. The Chinese would be better served to focus on Pelosi tactics that have nothing to do with American competitiveness or growth.

Robert of Texas
April 5, 2021 12:55 pm

Xi Jinping’s plan is to say whatever needed to pacify the Western Nations, do exactly as he pleases, and watch as places like the U.S. start living with blackouts due to their unscientific approach to providing stable energy.

April 5, 2021 1:18 pm

If only we would follow suit, dispense with the models, and follow the science. Placing Americans et al second, and third.

April 5, 2021 1:55 pm

China has moved to the selective-child model, which should reduce their population, and, in following, their carbon footprint. Perhaps that’s their planned progression through diversity and exclusion, which is in forward-looking agreement with their Western peers. Extinction rebellion… follow the dodo.

April 5, 2021 2:26 pm

Our sophisticated, nuanced, and educated betters actually believe China keeps its promises!

April 5, 2021 3:31 pm

Almost four years after receiving the construction approval, the plant was formally connected to the national grid in mid-December.

I’m not sure what construction approval means in China, but in Canada you are lucky to have the environmental impact studies done in four years, then comes the stakeholder consultations, license application approval process, public hearings etc. Perhaps then after several years you get the approval. Then come the years of court challenges, involving at least one appeal court if you survive the first round. Then come the blockades, protests and civil disobedience backed by a variety of domestic and foreign groups.

Perhaps this is why our Prime Minister admires China’s ability to get things done.

Reply to  lmo
April 5, 2021 5:51 pm

How many protestors do you see in china … ask Hong Kong how that works out.

April 5, 2021 6:20 pm

This is actually quite funny! 

Headline: Banks keep throwing cash… undercutting Xi Jinping’s plan to slash fossil fuels

Text: China’s coal mines, coal-fired power plants are still growing, funded by an endless stream of cheap financing by the nation’s state-owned banks.

The nation’s big five state-owned power firms, generating more than half of China’s coal-fired electricity –

I love the semantics here, but it is more amusing to think that the journalist can’t put two and two together. If this guy were a reporter during the Second World War, we would have seen headlines like this: “Hitler’s dreams of world peace go up in flames, as German army rampages through Southern Russia”

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Reply to  Anon
April 6, 2021 7:10 am

Great alternate history quote!

Kit P
April 5, 2021 6:34 pm

What this article fails to take into account is capacity factor.

I generally assume the capacity factor of solar is zero and wind 10% based on actual performance. Some will cherry pick data for the first few years of operation but things start to break.

The CF of gas and coal plants will depend on the resective price of each fossil fuel.

This is why I recently invested in stock of a US coal company and the utility building two new nukes.

When POTUS Obama took office, there were 36 nuke plants in line for the permitting process.

The CF of US nukes is 90% and carbon emissions near zero. If we had built expensive nuke plants (like China is doing), the CF of dirty gas plants would be reduced and gas for home heating would stay cheap.

Demand for coal will increase as price of natural gas goes up. Die off of wind turbines start exceeding build rate.

While I am not worried about ghg and more than I am spent nuclear fuel, I just hate bad energy policy.

April 5, 2021 7:57 pm

Xi is following the age-old recipe to fzck the virgin. Before, tell her nothing is going to happen. During, tell her nothing is happening. After, tell her nothing happened.

The virgin is happy, her virginity is preserved. Xi is happy, he has fzcked the virgin. The parents (you and me) of the virgin, not so happy.

April 5, 2021 11:02 pm

It would be great if humans could keep their CO2 emissions as high as possible in the next few decades. That would be a great scientific experiment to test their effect on the atmospheric concentrations and the effect of concentrations on global temperature (and other) climatic indices (sea ice, sea level, glaciers…).

robin townsend
April 6, 2021 1:04 am

Can someone please do the math? 251g of coal per unit of electricity? what unit of electricity? KWh? How does this compare with petrol or oil? Is it possible / feasible?

willem post
April 6, 2021 7:22 am

The average heating value of coal is about 12,500 Btu/lb, or 27,500 Btu/kg

If the new, ultra-super-critical Chinese plant uses 251 gram of coal to produce a kWh, the plant efficiency would have to be 3412 / (251/1000 x 27500) = 49%

Would that be measured at the point the plant feeds into the grid?

That percentage likely would be reduced by the air quality control systems, such as fabric filters.

The 1350 MW plant was built in 4 years, which is super fast!!

Anyone knows the turnkey capital cost?

Germany has had such plants for at least 10 years

Reply to  willem post
April 6, 2021 7:49 am

According to this source:
“…the Pingshan Phase 2 1350 MW unit is on its way to becoming the most efficient coal-fired power plant in the world at 49.8% (net, LHV, THA condition).”

April 6, 2021 9:06 am

Meanwhile a Chinese owned Australian company is requesting permits to start a major rare earth mine in southern Greenland to make more wind turbines and EVs. If they don’t get the permit, China still wins with pricing power from its other dominate share of production and even larger share of processing. Call it the Arctic Renewable Energy Polar Bear Peace Park.

April 6, 2021 10:54 am

The plant, boasting state-of-the-art technology that requires only 251 grams – a global record for efficiency – of coal for each unit of electricity generated

Wrong way to determine plant efficiency — what is the Btu/lb of the coal? Heat-rate (Btu/net Kw) is the correct measure.

Last edited 1 year ago by beng135
Tom in Toronto
April 6, 2021 12:41 pm

Sure, blame the western banks. Not the ones actually mining/using the coal, and building and using the coal plant or its electricity.

April 6, 2021 5:24 pm

China always gives lip service and laughs all the way to the bank at us stupid americans who constantly implement some really dumb environmental policies. Yes we will install air pollution control devices but only run it for american visitors. There is a happy balance somewhere.

Nick in Vancouver
April 7, 2021 7:58 am

There is no “fine line”. China virtue signals for the benefit of useful idiots in the West and does the opposite, domestically, out of economic necessity and expediency.
You can’t get financing for fossil fuel production in Canada anymore – unless you count the Russian money looking for a fire-sale in Alberta.
In a reverse of China, I guess Canadian banks virtue signal domestically and get their profits from China. Facepalm

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