It’s long been said said that China was adding one new coal power plant per week to its grid. But the real news is worse: China is completing two new coal plants per week. If China’s carbon usage keeps pace with its economic growth, the country’s carbon dioxide emissions will reach 8 gigatons a year by 2030, which is equal to the entire world’s CO2 production today. If the Chinese economy steps into our carbon footprint, all other greenhouse gas reduction efforts will be for naught.
Alexis Madrigal, Wired, 8 February 2008
China has one of the largest coal reserves in the world, and coal accounts for 67% of its primary energy use, compared with 24% for the world average. China is currently bringing two additional coal-fired power plants to the electric power grid every week. In a hypothetical scenario in which carbon intensity keeps pace with a GDP growth rate of 7%, by 2030, China would be emitting as much as the world as a whole is today (8 GtC/year).
Ning Zeng et al., Science, 8 February 2008
Faced with electricity shortages in more than half the country, the Communist Party responded with an old-style mobilization campaign. Last week, President Hu Jintao visited the Tashan mine and ordered all state-owned mines to produce more coal, and produce it faster, in order to guarantee supply for power plants in the south.
The New York Times, 9 February 2008
China has long been a huge supplier of coal to itself and the rest of the world. But in the first half of last year, it imported more than it exported for the first time, setting off a near-doubling of most coal prices around the world. For the world, which uses coal for about 40% of its electricity, the result is similar to what happened after China became a net importer of oil in 1993.
The Wall Street Journal, 12 February 2008