By Michael Kern
January 21, 2023 - China expects to add 70 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power generation this year, up from 40 GW of capacity from coal installed in 2022, a report from the power sector’s group, China Electricity Council, showed.
The coal additions, however, will not be the biggest capacity increases in China in 2023, per the report quoted by Bloomberg.
Solar and wind will see massive growth in capacity additions this year, too, with solar power expected to add a huge 100 GW of capacity and wind—another 65 GW, China Electricity Council said.
China’s electricity generation capacity from renewable sources is expected to jump above 50% for the first time this year. According to the power sector’s lobbying group, low-carbon electricity sources will account for over 52% of total power capacity in China by the end of 2023, up from 49.6% at the end of last year.
After the end of the ‘zero Covid’ policy, China’s power demand is expected to jump by 6% in 2023, up from the 3.6% growth seen last year, according to the China Electricity Council.
Although renewable energy installations are set to jump, coal-fired capacity additions in China will also surge this year as Beijing has put more emphasis on energy security since the autumn of 2021 when power shortages crippled its industry.
In 2022, China said it would continue to maximize the use of coal in the coming years as it caters to its energy security, despite pledges to contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions.
In recent months, China has significantly boosted its coal production, following government orders.
China produced a record amount of coal last year, although output ended the year with a decline amid the latest surge in Covid infections. Total Chinese coal output for the year reached 4.496 billion tons, which was a 9-percent increase compared to 2021, according to official statistics data.