China confirms ban on new coal-fired power plant construction until 2018

12 Jul 2016

The Chinese government has confirmed that the construction of new coal-fired power plants and new coal-based chemical installations would be banned until 2018, as announced in March 2016. The ban on projects should cut coal's share of the overall mix to 58% from 64% currently.

China will also seek to reduce over-capacities in coal mining and oil refining: new plants approval in 2019-2020 will depend on the results of over-capacity elimination, as existing facilities are operating at a utilisation rate 15% lower than the global average.

Where renewable power plants are concerned, the pace of new wind and solar capacity additions will be slowed down, as inadequate grid transmission capacity waste a large part of power generation. China will then focus on the improvement of its transmission network. Solar capacity should reach 150 GW by 2020 and wind capacity 250 GW. Hydropower capacity is expected to reach 340 GW by 2020, while nuclear power capacity should reach 58 GW by this date (30 GW approved for construction).

The Chinese government also plans to phase out 500 Mt of coal production by 2020.

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