China to Establish the World's Largest Clean and Efficient Coal Power System by 2020

China will complete the world's largest clean and efficient coal power system before 2020, according to a seminar on the development of clean coal power and its environmental impact held in Beijing on Sept. 19. The current priority in air pollution control is pollution reduction in non-power sectors, such as the iron and steel, cement, glass plate, and electrolytic aluminum industries. 

Coal is the dominant energy source found within China, which is the reason that energy consumption is also dominated by coal. As a result, coal power is at the core of China¡¯s power production and consumption system. According to China Electricity Council (CEC), by the end of 2016, China¡¯s installed power-generating capacity has reached1,650 GW,940 GW or 57.3% of which is from coal-fired plants. China¡¯s total power generation has reached 6,000 TWh, 3,900 TWh or 65.5% of which is generated by coal.

According to Liu Bingjiang, head of Department of Air Environmental Management of Ministry of Environmental Protection, at the start of the 11th Five-Year Plan, nearly half of the major pollutants in China came from the coal-power industry. After more than a decade of hard work, the industry was able to expand its installed capacity to 2.4 times that of 2005, while reducing its emission of SO2 and NOx from ten-million-ton level to the million-ton level £¬making it a sector with the highest emissions compliance.

In 2014, the coal-fired power industry took the lead in carrying out renovations to achieve ultra-low emissions. In 2015, Ministry of Environmental Protection, National Development and Reform Commission, and National Energy Administration issued the Plan for the Comprehensive Implementation of Renovations to Achieve Ultra-Low Emissions and Energy Conservation in Coal-fired Power Plants, with the target of completing renovations by 2020.

 ¡°As of the end of June of this year, we achieved ultra-low emissions for 570 GW of installed coal-fired capacity, accounting for 60% of the total. The renovation has been completed in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei and has been almost completed throughout Eastern China. By 2020, China will establish the world¡¯s largest clean and efficient coal-fired power system¡±, said Liu Bingjiang.

The China Coal-fired Power Clean Development Report released by CEC during the seminar, also indicated that, through independent R&D and the introduction, digestion, absorption, and improvement of new technologies, China has achieved 100% coverage by coal-fired power plant air pollutant control facilities, with related technologies reaching or even exceeding the highest global standards. 

It is reported that, relative to the continued reduction of pollutants in the coal-fired industry, the non-power sector is becoming a major contributor to pollutant emissions in China. China produced 50% of the world¡¯s iron and steel, 60% of its cement, 50% of its glass plates, and 65% of its electrolytic aluminum with more than 400,000 large-capacity coal-fired furnaces. In addition, there is heavy reliance on coal for heating purposes in urban villages, on the rural-urban fringe, and in rural areas.

 ¡°The non-power sector still lags behind in terms of a foundation and management capabilities for pollution control. It contributes more than 3/4 of China¡¯s SO2, NOX, and smoke and dust emissions. In addition, VOC emissions, mainly coming from the petrochemical, chemical engineering, industrial packaging, and printing industries, have not been effectively brought under control. At the present stage, we will speed up pollution control improvements for industrial coal-fired furnaces and scattered coal,¡±said Liu Bingjiang.

It is reported that ten ministries and six provincial governments jointly issued 2017-2018 Autumn and Winter Air Pollution Comprehensive Control and Treatment Action Plan in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Surrounding Areas. Liu Bingjiang revealed that the two municipalities and 26 cities adopted a model that uses air quality improvement targets to promote structural adjustments in the industrial, energy, and transportation sectors. By the end of next month, they will be able to replace coal with electricity in more than 3 million households, shut down 44,000 small coal-fired furnaces as planned, implement treatment and control for VOC emissions from the power industry, and achieve low emissions from industrial companies during the 2017 heating season.

Source: Economic Information Daily

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