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New coal capacity growth in China is finally slowing…

2014 February 28

china cap add

Just a quick note, which I may expand on later… It is an encouraging sign that coal-fired power additions are finally slowing in China (though still growing in absolute numbers), with 2013 being the first year that there has been less than 50 gigawatts of coal capacity addition, and with China Electricity Council’s 2014 projection, it looks like it may stay that way moving forward. Certainly, the rainbow “fan” that is replacing these additions is also encouraging in some respects. Wind capacity additions should remain steady in the years ahead, while solar continues to have a couple of aggressive years ahead of it. Nuclear power should be picking up the pace in the lead up to 2020, while hydro will have a couple more years of >10GW additions before slowing down, as China reaches the technical hydropower potential of nearly all of its rivers. Whatever it can dam, it is damming, including the Nu River, which I made a short film on in 2008. My last point for now is that China has now had six consecutive years of ~90GW capacity additions, but since the growing majority of these additions (hydro, wind, solar)┬árun at lower capacity factors than coal, the overall power generation (and consumption) is slowing too, due to slower economic growth, some energy efficiency efforts, and perhaps some structural change as well.

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