In Perspective: China's New Climate Change Plan an Assault vs Coal?
China is taking dramatic steps to comply with the recent coal capacity target as specified in its latest Five Year Plan. The government has just suspended 85 percent of its planned and under-construction coal power projects, which has a total capacity of over 1000 GW.
Increased Energy Capacity Despite Suspension
Green Peace's energy desk reports that the recent suspension was just implemented in 13 provinces. Some are expecting more suspensions to come to light sooner or later.
In the electricity chapter of the country's 13th Five Year Plan, China has committed to a total capacity cap of 1,100 GW -- a rather sizeable increase compared to China's current capacity of 920 GW. The total number of coal power projects that exist in the country would amount to 1,250 GW; hence, the surprising suspensions.
It can be recalled that back in 2016, China has been grappling with a coal overcapacity crisis, as per a report. In response, the country took measures such as new policies to tackle the problem.
For instance, in March 2016, China ordered several provinces to cease the approval of coal plants. In April 2016, it then opted the introduction of a "traffic light" system for coal power approvals throughout the country. By Octobe, it actually began the cancellation of under-construction projects.
Suspension Beneficial to End China's Pollution
Greenpeace elaborated that these steps also appear to have good benefits to China's ecosystem in the long run. China already has an unprecedented pollution problem as it is, so lessening the production of coal power may lead to the reduction of some aspects of pollution as well.
Regardless, the world can expect more aggressive moves on China's part to fulfill its 13th Five Year Plan. This can be a good example for other countries who also want to follow the objectives laid by their own renewable energy plans or the Paris Agreement.
The suspension is also a good nod to the growing increase in prominence of renewable energy sources and services worldwide.