china
01 Oct
  • By Aizhana Danabekova

China is secretly building hundreds of new coal stations

According to an analysis of satellite imagery, the Chinese government is building hundreds of new coal-fired plants. The pictures have been compared and overlooked by green campaigners CoalSwarm. In the study, it was used satellite photos to examine power plants that were subject to a suspension order. Besides, it was found out that construction continuing at many locations.

As the researchers said, there was a surge in new coal projects approved at the provincial level between 2014 and 2016. This occurred because of a decentralization programme that shifted authority over coal plant construction approvals to local authorities. Moreover, the report was stated that China presently has 993 gigawatts of coal power capacity, but the approved new plants would increase this by 25%.

In turn, the central government of China attempted to curb the boom by releasing a suspension of orders for more than 100 power plants, but the analysis demonstrates that the efforts were not significant. As an example, last year China’s National Energy Administration ordered a group of plants that produced 57 gigawatts of electricity to decrease building. However, the satellite data shows that half the power has not slowed down at all. “This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming – the planet can’t tolerate another US-sized block of plants to be built,” said Ted Nace.

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Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.  She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.