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25 Mär 2021

XIAOYING YOU, Carbon Brief (UK)

Nature Communications research identifies 186 Chinese coal plants “particularly suitable” for fast-track retirement

“China should ‘rapidly’ close 186 coal plants to help meet its climate goals, study says“, 25 March 2021

New research has identified that 18% of China’s coal-fired power plants “can be retired first and rapidly” to help the nation achieve its goal of “carbon neutrality” by 2060.

The paper, published in Nature Communications, finds that 186 out of China’s 1,037 active coal plants are – from a technical, economic and environmental perspective – performing poorly and are “particularly suitable” for fast-track retirement. [...]

Dr Ryna Yiyun Cui, assistant research professor and China programme co-director at the Center for Global Sustainability of University of Maryland, is the paper’s lead author. Cui tells Carbon Brief:

“Rapidly shutting down the 18% oldest, smallest and most inefficient plants opens up opportunities for improving air quality, human health, water security and other societal goals.”

[...] Explaining those regional implications, Cui says some could be attributed to “undesirable technical attributes”, such as the ageing plants located in China’s three north-eastern provinces, namely Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. She notes that health and water impacts may also cause differences, which can be seen in the municipality of Shanghai and the provinces of Shandong and Hebei. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China’s 2060 carbon neutrality pledge

China's commitment to phase out overseas coal investment