September 21, 2021: from a reader --
Because China is transitioning from their old dirty coal plants: ultra super critical technology all fitted with BACT (Best Available Control Technology) for emissions better than EU standards and equal to US. They can run the old plants as required. They are in good shape. It's a lot easier to import and mine more coal than it is to build new generating capacity.
The fun stuff for the next few years will be watching Germany Not shut down the last of their nukes on schedule and increasing instead of decreasing their emissions burning lignite.
Not to mention the UK having to decide if they want to start fracking for gas or getting a lateral line connection with Nord Stream 2.
Lot's of fun just in time for COP 26! As you know they've been squabbling with Australia about importing.
China gave up on utility scale wind and solar August 1, 2021. I bet they wished they done it about five years sooner.
Though a lot of folks will say they saw this coming. See first comment.
China is at risk of the same energy-crunch chaos seen in Europe, with a state-run newspaper warning that coal-fired power plants will struggle to keep the lights on this winter.
The nation’s coal-based power producers, which account for more than 70% of the country’s electricity generation, are unable to buy enough fuel after prices surged, state-run China Energy News said in a report dated September 18, 2021.
Officials at those plants say they have little coal in inventories, and it’s “almost impossible to buy” the fuel right now, the paper said. Many are struggling with deep operation losses, and some have even turned off their boilers to save costs, the report said.
Energy markets across the world are being rocked by soaring fuel prices, with power companies clambering to secure supplies of everything from coal to gas to fuel oil. Europe has borne the brunt of the crunch, though the U.S. hasn’t been spared either, with electricity prices for the winter soaring to a seven-year high.
In China, the situation has been exacerbated by President Xi Jinping’s ambitious climate goals that discouraged dirty coal mining. A lack of power to supply the world’s second-biggest economy could throw millions of factories and households into chaos, especially when consumption for heating is about to increase during winter.
China’s power producers have such low inventories that some have even warned they only have about a week’s worth of coal left, the Chinese energy newspaper said, without identifying the officials or their plants. The paper, a mouthpiece of the state-run People’s Daily, used to be run by the National Energy Administration, the country’s top power regulator.
Chinese power generators are prioritizing procuring enough coal at the moment and are willing to pay whatever the freight costs, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed official at a plant in the Northeastern region. Traders from the factory were hunting for supplies across the country, only to find out rivals in the Southwestern province of Guizhou, a major coal producing region itself, were competing with them, the newspaper said.
Much more at the link.