The approvals were part of a plan to unleash higher-grade coal production capacity, Song Wen, a planning official of the National Energy Administration (NEA), told a news briefing.
China approves 196 mln T of coal capacity from Jan-Sept: Regulator SHANGHAI: China approved 40 new “modernised” coal mines, with total capacity of 196 million tonnes, in the first three quarters of 2019, a regulatory official said on Tuesday, even as a boom in renewable energy fails to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The approvals were part of a plan to unleash higher-grade coal production capacity, Song Wen, a planning official of the National Energy Administration (NEA), told a news briefing.
China has been shutting hundreds of small-scale coal mines that use outdated techniques, and replacing them with bigger mechanised collieries using advanced technology. Promising an energy revolution to dramatically cut consumption of coal, a major source of air pollution and climate-warming greenhouse gas, China has already cut the fuel’s share in its total energy mix to 59% last year from 68% in 2012. But overall consumption has continued to increase, and amid warnings of possible power shortages, China still has more than 200 gigawatts of new coal-fired power capacity in the pipeline.
Premier Li Keqiang has told NEA officials that China, with its “resource endowment” still dominated by coal, must continue to support the development of clean and green mining and coal-fired power.
China has also been under fire for continuing to approve new coal-fired power capacity overseas, especially in its “Belt and Road” initiative to create markets for its firms through infrastructure investments.
China has added 16 gigawatts of new solar power, 13 GW of new wind power and 4 GW of new nuclear capacity in the first three quarters, Song added, with non-fossil fuel power accounting for 56% of the new capacity additions. But new solar installations are down considerably from last year, hit by a 2018 decision to end subsidies for new projects. New installed solar capacity is set to reach about 20 GW to 25 GW this year, down from 41 GW last year and a record 53 GW in 2017, an industry executive said.