Fired Plants Casts Doubts on China’s Energy Priorities

cheap moncler sale DONGXIANPO, China Just outside the southwest border of Beijing, a new coal fired power and heating plant is rising in Dongxianpo, a cheap moncler jackets outlet rural moncler outlets uk town in Hebei Province. Cement mixers roll onto the site. Cranes tower above a landscape of metal girders.

When finished, the plant, run by a company owned by the Beijing government, is expected to have a generating capacity of 700 megawatts of power, more than the total of similar plants in Ohio. But whether it will actually be used to its fullest is questionable, despite the investment of $580 million.

That is because the plant is scheduled to come online in three years amid a glut of coal fired power plants an astounding 155 planned projects received a permit this year alone, with total capacity equal to nearly 40 percent of operational coal power plants in the United States.

monlcer down jackets China’s economic slowdown and the government’s pledges to use more renewable and nuclear energy make some of the cheap moncler country’s existing plants and most or all of the 155 new ones unnecessary, according to interviews with officials and scholars, a moncler jackets kids review of public statistics and a report released Wednesday about the “coal power bubble” by Greenpeace East Asia. There are already too many plants, as shown by a steady decline in the plants’ average operating hours since cheap moncler jackets wholesale 2013.

That system has created what appears to be a discount moncler jackets disconnect between the provincial building boom and the country’s overall energy requirements, making it harder for China to convert to a moncler jackets for women system that is not dominated by dirty fuel.

“China already has more coal capacity than it will ever need,” Zhang Boting, vice chairman of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, said in an interview. “A few years down the road, we’ll see what a waste the plants are. We have seen this happen to the steel and cement industries.”

cheap moncler moncler outlet store outlet In the first nine months of this year, state owned companies received preliminary moncler chicago or full approval to build the 155 coal Moncler Factory Outlet power plants that have a total capacity of 123 gigawatts, the report said. That capacity is equal to 15 percent of China’s coal fired power capacity at the end of 2014.

The construction boom with capital costs estimated by Greenpeace at $74 billion is a clear moncler jackets cheap sign that China remains entrenched in moncler jackets toronto investment driven growth, despite promises by leaders to transform the economic model to one based on consumer spending.

moncler outlet It also raises moncler jackets canada questions about whether China is weaning itself from coal as quickly as it can and whether officials are sufficiently supporting nonfossil fuel sources over moncler outlet kids coal, which moncler coats is championed by some state owned enterprises. China is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and the main driver of climate change, and it has some of the worst air pollution.

Conflict within the system is rising. Renewable energy interests wind, solar and hydropower are pushing back against coal fired power plants, which have 40 year life spans. They say the rising number of coal plants prevents other moncler outlet location energy sources from selling electricity on the grid and attracting more investment. They want the government to move faster cheap moncler jackets with its promised “green dispatch,” giving priority to low carbon electricity sources.

cheap moncler “Why do we see so much discarded water, wind and solar resources everywhere?” Mr. Zhang said. “Because all those coal plants need market share. Local discount moncler outlet governments need to maintain stability and employment, and to do so they need to give all the coal moncler outlet plants just enough market share to survive.”

moncler outlet sale Utility contracts guarantee that coal fired plants operate a minimum number of hours to sell moncler outlet canada power to the grid, while renewable sources have no such guarantee. Wind moncler outlet uk power capacity has been growing in China, but so has the amount of wasted wind power, called curtailment, according to National Energy Administration statistics. In the first moncler outlet ny half of 2015, the rate of curtailment was 15 percent, almost twice that of the same period in 2014.

moncler sale The State Grid Corporation of China, the country’s largest power womens moncler jackets distributor, did not respond to a request for comment. It is also one of China’s biggest owners of coal fired power plants.

Qin Haiyan, secretary general of the Chinese Wind Energy Association, told the China Electric Power News, an official industry newspaper, that if the country’s appetite for new coal plants was not curbed, “the conflict between coal and wind will become even more fierce in the next few years.”

moncler moncler outlets usa outlet online Mr. Zhang said the dominance moncler jackets mens of coal power had led to “a sharp decline in investments in renewable energy.”

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Hydropower is generated by provincial or central state owned enterprises. The China Electricity Council, a power industry association, said in a report this year that investment in hydropower had dropped for three straight years and that the amount in the first quarter of 2015 was half that of the same period in 2012.

moncler mens jackets Nevertheless, China is building more renewable and nuclear energy capacity. The government has said that by 2020, 15 percent of energy consumption will be met by sources beyond fossil fuel.

Despite the construction boom, Mr. Myllyvirta and some scholars say there is little danger that China’s coal consumption will rise significantly, since a slower economy and flattening coal use appear to be the new norm. President Xi Jinping said China was aiming for 6.5 percent economic growth from 2016 to 2020. The construction boom means that China is not investing in alternative fuel sources as quickly as it could, critics say, and coal use may stay at or moncler coats outlet near the current high level for years.

“You’re wasting a massive amount of capital that could be spent on renewable energy to generate green power that is needed,” Mr. Myllyvirta said. “And there’s a longer term question of whether you will keep investing in renewables when you have all these coal plants lying around.”

Coal plants now operate well below full capacity, with the average number of operating hours on moncler coats sale the decline, the Greenpeace report said. Last year, thermal power plants, mostly coal fired, operated 4,706 hours on average, moncler jackets on sale 314 hours less than in 2013, moncler outlet mall according to the moncler jackets National Energy Administration. “At any given moment, more than half of capacity is idle,” Mr. Myllyvirta said.

buy moncler jackets The report recommended that officials cancel many projects and that the central government “urgently institute a ban on issuing new permits for coal fired power plants.”

cheap moncler coats Though the total amount of coal fired power capacity has grown annually, China is shutting down some older and smaller plants, especially in more populated eastern regions. By 2020, the central government aims to have coal moncler outlet usa fired power generated mainly in western provinces and transmitted to the east via ultra high voltage lines. But Greenpeace researchers found that eastern provinces were still handing out large numbers of permits to build new coal plants.

Jiangsu moncler coats for women Province has issued permits for moncler coats for men 17 plants this year, while Shandong Province has issued moncler coats for cheap permits for 16 the second and third most plant approvals in the country, behind Shanxi Province. That goes against central policy, since regulations require those provinces to curb coal use.

Mr. Myllyvirta said that even the western provinces did not need so many new coal fired plants because the current overcapacity and planned expansion of renewable and nuclear energy sources buy moncler jackets toronto could meet the expected rise in demand for transmitted electricity.

Greenpeace estimated moncler outlet online that if the 155 plants operated at typical levels for new projects, they would emit 560 moncler outlet woodbury million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to Brazil’s total energy emissions. They would also spew huge amounts of toxic pollutants, and 60 percent would operate in arid areas or ones with chronic water shortages, exacerbating those problems.

moncler outlet store The increase in permit approvals followed the enactment of a policy in March that allows provincial environmental officials rather than the central Ministry of Environmental Protection to approve projects, in the interest of streamlining bureaucracy.

cheap moncler jacket outlet moncler jackets Provinces have an economic interest in keeping coal fired power generation close to home, despite concerns over air pollution. Provincial state owned enterprises running the plants have a guaranteed source of revenue. Also, officials can tax coal power plants but not renewable energy projects. And plant construction improves economic moncler outlets sale growth, an important measure in evaluations of provincial officials cheap moncler coats for women.